Torrance, Calif.–June 25, 2007–According to the Harper Index, 14-year-olds in 1999 knew about 15,000 fewer words than 14-year-olds in 1950. This lack of vocabulary can cripple students´ progress in all academic areas. Knowledge Adventure®, a developer and publisher of award-winning educational software for the home and classroom, has launched the new research-based solution; Knowledge Adventure® Academy –Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension program to help schools close this "language gap" using vocabulary building activities and guided reading comprehension.

According to Tony Bordon, Senior Vice President for Knowledge Adventure, "Some students enter school knowing 3,000 – 4,000 words fewer than their peers. After the fourth grade, that vocabulary gap is the greatest obstacle to reading comprehension. Incidentally, the general decline in math and science scores begins at the same grade level, so some of those kids may be struggling to understand their textbooks."

Knowledge Adventure Academy–Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension contains a Learning Zones Placement Test that places individual students at the level where they will learn and retain new words most rapidly. The software also provides 2,400 explicitly leveled vocabulary words that build background knowledge and contribute to improved reading comprehension. These "Core Literacy" vocabulary words are reinforced with high-quality audio pronunciations of all words and definitions.

The software´s TargetScores! Motivation & Mastery system encourages repetition via an activity-based Visual Learning Path that helps students achieve mastery and long-term retention. Students participate in vocabulary activities promoting word to definition understanding, words in context and definition to word comprehension. Teachers are able to print out the vocabulary words and passages to practice fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.

Once students have mastered the vocabulary activities, the program moves them into the reading comprehension section featuring a Vocabulary-Based Reading Selector that uses students´ vocabulary performance to guide them to reading passages at the appropriate level of difficulty. The TargetScores! Motivation and Mastery System also aids comprehension by its encouragement of repeated reading. In addition, the program guides students with contextual hints on reading strategies such as main idea, facts, inference and sequencing.

"We felt that this guided reading comprehension component was essential to reading success," said Bordon. "Practice at the correct level of difficulty is the other missing element in developing mastery, fluency, and comfort with academic texts."

In addition to building students´ vocabulary and reading fluency, Knowledge Adventure Academy–Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension encourages good reading habits with features such as an Active Reading Window that helps break the habit of backtracking by training students to read passages in "chunks" rather than word by word and by constantly moving the eye forward.

Additionally, guided reading passages introduce new concepts in a systematic manner. Each passage is authentic and appealing and reinforces any acquired vocabulary.

The passages cover a broad variety of nonfiction topics and are customized and leveled so even struggling students can experience reading success and become motivated to keep working on their skills.

System Requirements and Pricing

Knowledge Adventure Academy–Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension runs on Windows XP 2000 or 2003 as well as Macintosh OS X 10.4 systems. The software sells for $6,250 for a building license, for up to 500 students.

About Knowledge Adventure

For more than 20 years, children´s software pioneer Knowledge Adventure has set the standard in creating the finest educational products for use in the home and the classroom. The company is internationally renowned for its award-winning software brands including JumpStart®, Math Blaster®, and Reading Blaster®. Tested and trusted by teachers and parents alike, Knowledge Adventure software has helped millions of children build and strengthen essential learning skills. Knowledge Adventure Academy is a line of products developed specifically for schools through the Knowledge Adventure School division. A subsidiary of Knowledge Holdings, Inc., the company is based in Los Angeles.

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