Oakland, Calif. — Sept. 16, 2009 — As part of a grant from the Department of Defense, Craven County Schools in New Bern, N.C. will implement the Fast ForWord® family of products to help struggling readers build and strengthen the cognitive skills that are fundamental to achieving academic success across the K-12 curriculum.

Developed by Scientific Learning (NASDAQ:SCIL), Fast ForWord educational software accelerates learning by developing the student brain to process more efficiently. In Craven County, the software will be installed in 13 schools where dependents of military or Department of Defense civilian families comprise at least 15 percent of the student population.

“Craven County Schools is a very diverse system,” said Jo Wheeler, assistant superintendent for K-8 instruction for Craven County Schools. “Many children come to us with deficits in the ability to process, sequence, and store information. Yet, students need these skills to be successful in reading — as well as all other content areas. We are constantly assessing our beliefs and practices in how children acquire and develop literacy skills. That’s why we chose the Fast ForWord products as the focus for this grant. Fast ForWord gets at the heart of what students need to know and be able to do.”

Craven County Schools applied for the Department of Defense Education Activity grant after running a pilot program at Trent Park Elementary during the 2008-09 school year. At Trent Park, all K-5 students worked on the Fast ForWord software 30 minutes a day. On average, students in grades 3-5 increased their proficiency level on the End-of-Grade (EOG) Reading Comprehension Tests and showed significant gains between the 2008 and 2009 test administrations. In 2008, before Fast ForWord participation, 42.8 percent of students performed at EOG Level 3 or 4 (at or above grade level). In 2009, after Fast ForWord participation, 57.2 percent of students performed at EOG Level 3 or 4. 

“After successfully implementing Fast ForWord in one of our non-military impacted schools, it is clear to us that the Fast ForWord products will lay the literacy foundation for struggling readers in our 13 military impacted schools,” said Wheeler. “By implementing Fast ForWord, we will be able to offer these schools an innovative brain-based approach to teaching and learning, which research has shown directly impacts student performance and success.”  

The Fast ForWord purchase was finalized this quarter, and the reading intervention software will be installed, and staff members will begin training, this month. Selected students will begin using the software in October.

About Craven County Schools

Craven County Schools is located approximately 40 miles east of the North Carolina coast. The district enrolls 14,737 students in 15 elementary schools, five middle schools, and four high schools. It covers approximately 695 square miles and serves the cities of New Bern and Havelock, including the towns of Bridgeton, Cove City, Dover, River Bend, Trent Woods, Vanceboro, and Marine Corps Air Station – Cherry Point.

About Scientific Learning Corp.

Scientific Learning creates educational software that accelerates learning by improving the processing efficiency of the brain. Based on more than 30 years of neuroscience and cognitive research, the Fast ForWord® family of products provides struggling readers with computer-delivered exercises that build the cognitive skills required to read and learn effectively. Scientific Learning Reading Assistant™ combines advanced speech recognition technology with scientifically-based courseware to help students strengthen fluency, vocabulary and comprehension to become proficient, life-long readers. The efficacy of the products has been established by more than 550 research studies and publications. For more information, visit or call toll-free 888-358-0212.


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