Reston, VA (November 29, 2006)– NITV, Inc., the online learning innovator and creator of TeachersFirst, today announced that PreschoolFirst, its online, play-based curriculum and assessment resource for the preschool years, now features a Spanish language parent module. PreschoolFirst is the only integrated, online curriculum and assessment resource for young learners that offers a parent resource specifically designed for Hispanic families with limited English proficiency.

Hispanic parents with limited English skills can access PreschoolFirst’s Spanish language parent module from any Internet-connected computer — anytime, anywhere. Using PreschoolFirst–and their native language — they can easily stay in touch with their child’s teachers, thanks to PreschoolFirst’s two-way communication tool. They can also find suggested at-home activities relevant and culturally sensitive — that complement and enhance their child’s classroom experience. In all, PreschoolFirst’s Spanish parent module gives preschools and districts serving growing numbers of Hispanic families with very young children the ability to enhance their programs to better address these families’ social and academic needs.

Today, 21 percent of the nation’s children under the age of five are Hispanic. In 2003, 22 percent of the babies born in the United States had Hispanic mothers, up from 15 percent in 1990.[1] Many of these children come from families where parents have limited English language proficiency, and where English is not the primary language spoken at home. Researchers have identified these limitations as factors in the well-documented achievement gap between Hispanic students and their non-Hispanic peers.[2] In part, this is because parental involvement is well known to be highly effective in boosting student achievement.

“Hispanic parents want to be active participants in their children’s education, and in fact, two of the Hispanic community’s key strengths are its strong family bonds and the high value it places on education,” noted Steven J. Gorski, NITV President and Chief Executive Officer. “But for many Hispanic parents with limited English skills, staying involved is an enormous challenge. That’s why we developed Spanish language parent module for PreschoolFirst. We have removed the language barrier that keeps many Hispanic families from getting as involved as they’d like in their young children’s educations.”

Built on the research of early learning authority Dr. Sally Flagler, PreschoolFirst includes an open framework of 2,500+ age-appropriate, theme-based activities incorporating 500 developmentally-appropriate behaviors children should master to be ready for school. PreschoolFirst is aligned to NAEYC guidelines, American Academy of Pediatrics developmental milestones, the Head Start outcomes framework, and more than fifteen states’ preschool learning standards. Seamlessly integrated with the curriculum is PreschoolFirst’s easy-to-use uniform, validated assessment tool that lets teachers monitor student development and school readiness by observing children in their most natural setting–at play.

Proven effective in preschools and district pre-K programs alike — and for special needs students — PreschoolFirst is being used by educators nationwide to positively affect the cognitive, physical, social, and language development of young children. Two versions of PreschoolFirst are available: one for public school districts, which includes alignments to state standards, and one for independent preschools. For more information, visit www.preschoolfirst.com or call PreschoolFirst at 1-866-584-2900.

About NITV, Inc.

For more than twenty five years, the Network for Instructional TV, Inc. (NITV) has served American pre-K-12 educators and parents by creating and distributing technology-based educational materials, services and instruction. Leading education visionaries established the not-for-profit organization in 1979, recognizing that technology – used effectively – could assist educators in making a positive impact in the nation’s schools. In its earliest days, NITV pioneered public/private partnerships to use local video telecommunications systems to deliver educational materials and services. The organization once again broke early ground at the dawn of the Internet age, developing educational web sites for educators and parents, including TeachersFirst, its flagship service, launched in 1998. Each month, thousands of educators and parents in all 50 states and many foreign nations rely on NITV’s products and services to deliver high-quality learning opportunities for children.

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