For children, learning to read at a young age is crucial; for educators, developing such skills in students can be difficult. The newest program from Lightspan Inc. is intended to facilitate the process by helping students in kindergarten through first grade grasp reading skills through the use of internet activities, lesson plans, assessments, and teacher professional development tools.

In the classroom, the Lightspan Early Reading Program—designed to work in conjunction with schools’ preexisting reading initiatives—integrates skills and exercises that have been scientifically proven to improve reading comprehension. Its approaches include practices for phonemic awareness, phonics and decoding activities, oral reading instruction to improve fluency, vocabulary development exercises, increased reading time, and professional development programs.

Out of school, the Early Reading Program encourages students to continue their education through a series of internet-related games and puzzles, as well as take-home lessons on CD-ROM.

Every aspect of Lightspan’s Early Reading Program is aligned to fit specific state standards, according to the company. The program can be deployed on a school-by-school basis or across entire districts at once.

Pricing varies and can be customized to fit the needs of individual schools. The starting price for district-wide implementation of the entire program is $26,250.

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