AUSTIN, TEXAS (May 14, 2007)–Reading achievement has become a top priority in U.S. education policy and in schools nationwide, but there is still more that needs to be done to ensure all students learn to read and write successfully. Helping educators in their critical endeavor to build students´ literacy skills, Rigby launches its new comprehensive core reading and writing program for grades K-5, Literacy by Design.

The new program from Rigby combines research-based instruction with effective, proven classroom practices. Six leading literacy specialists-Linda Hoyt, Robert Marzano, Michael Optiz, Sharon Hill, and David and Yvonne Freeman-helped design the program to address the unique instructional challenges educators face every day and to maximize student achievement. Using a literature-rich environment, Literacy by Design provides whole class direct instruction of grade-level skills, while small-group strategic instruction allows students to apply strategies with text at their own level.

By meeting students at their instructional levels, Literacy by Design motivates students through ongoing success. Students receive the right amount of challenge and support to help them move forward. The formative and summative assessment system included in the program enables teachers to pinpoint students´ strengths and weaknesses and to identify strategies to address their needs, particularly for struggling readers and English Language Learners.

To help educators focus on reading in the content areas, the program links literacy skills to standards-based science and social students themes in fiction and nonfiction texts. This not only prepares students to tackle the more difficult reading required by content-area textbooks, it also ensures students are better prepared for state and national assessments.

Literacy by Design is the only program to offer a unique system to connect comprehension instruction across whole class, small group and independent reading to build literacy and critical thinking skills.

Students receive systematic writing instruction for 60 minutes every day through Literacy by Design. Daily writing lessons link directly to each day´s reading instruction to provide explicit development of writing skills while reinforcing big ideas and content-area themes.

The program is organized into convenient, streamlined materials to give teachers more time to focus on their students. Key components of the program include: eight levels of text within each grade, big books and whole class charts for grades K-2, shared text in sourcebooks for grades 3-5, comprehension and writing bridge cards, interactive phonics software, assessment guides, small group instruction and comprehensive teacher´s guides, and online lesson planner. On-site training and online access to professional development tools and resources are included in the program to ensure successful program implementation and use.
The instructional approach used in Literacy by Design is based on the success of Rigby Literacy. A year-long evaluation by Mid-Continent Regional Educational Laboratory found that students using Rigby Literacy made significant gains in reading achievement during the first year of implementation.

Literacy by Design available in grade level packages. To learn more about Literacy by Design, visit www.LiteracyByDesign.com.

About Harcourt
Harcourt Education is a global education provider serving students and teachers in PreK through grade 12, adult learners, and readers of all ages. The Harcourt Education companies include Harcourt School Publishers (including the Rigby and Saxon imprints); Holt, Rinehart and Winston (including the Steck-Vaughn imprint); Harcourt Assessment; Classroom Connect; Harcourt Trade Publishers; Greenwood/Heinemann; and Harcourt Education International. For further information, please visit www.harcourt.com.

Harcourt Education is part of Reed Elsevier Group plc. (www.reedelsevier.com), a world-leading publisher and information provider. It is owned equally by Reed Elsevier PLC (NYSE: RUK) and Reed Elsevier NV (NYSE: ENL).

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