Pleasantville, NY–November 2009—This January, Weekly Reader introduces an extraordinary new tool for schools—a multimedia reading-comprehension program that combines high-interest, real-world nonfiction content, research-based lessons, interactive activities, and much more.
 
Weekly Reader Connect isa cutting-edge school-wide online reading program for grades 1 through 6. It requires no additional software or tech expertise. Developed by the trusted, innovative educational publishing company, Weekly Reader’s breakthrough program delivers dozens of compelling “themed units” throughout the school year, focused on current events for grades 3–6, and cross-curricular, timely topics such as hurricanes, Native Americans, penguins, and space exploration for students in grades 1 and 2.
 
Designed to reach all students—regardless of their individual learning styles—and based on Weekly Reader’s award-winning print magazines, Weekly Reader Connectpresents short, multileveled content enriched with unique interactive multimedia. These features, which will bring stories alive for young readers, include:
  • Brief, compelling videos
  • Narrated slide shows
  • Topical audio clips
  • Animated shorts
  • Pop-up dictionaries
 
Weekly Reader Connect makes it easy for teachers and schools to integrate technology seamlessly into the classroom and reach today’s tech-savvy kids directly where they live,” said Neal Goff, President of Weekly Reader. “We are thrilled to introduce this remarkable new reading-comprehension resource because it features time-tested literacy principles in a progressive way that will engage all students as well as successfully amplify their understanding and prior knowledge through the power of multimedia.”
 
 
Growing out of the company’s mission of increasing reading proficiency through engaging classroom content, editors and education experts at Weekly Reader created the new online reading program using the Concepts of Comprehension©, a research-based reading-comprehension framework of 21 inferential thinking skills developed by the nonprofit Urban Education Exchange. By building these effective principles into its materials, Weekly Reader Connect not only motivates kids to read, write, and learn, but also teaches them valuable skills. The Concepts of Comprehension framework enables students to expand upon their reading skills from year to year, and uses proven methods that teach kids to read for understanding.
 
 
 
 
To get started, educators at subscribing schools will just log on to the Weekly Reader Connect Web site, www.wrconnect.com, for full access to the program. Teachers use an interactive whiteboard or project the content onto a screen to begin the learning adventure during group instruction, or offer individualized use on a single computer. With a simple password, instructors can also provide off-premises access to students.
 
Throughout the school year, Weekly Reader Connect will bring the following elements to all subscribing schools:
  • Exclusive interactive digital editions, presenting timely, high-interest and grade-specific nonfiction content that has been carefully crafted to align to state curricula
  • Downloadable companion Teacher’s Guides that incorporate wide-ranging background information, informal assessments, and other engaging extension activities along with practical tips and techniques on how to broaden the lessons 
  • Teaching points about specific Concepts of Comprehension embedded in each issue
  • Concepts of Comprehension Skill Builder lessons, with teacher tips and additional reading passages specifically designed to build reading skills and scores while improving students’ understanding of texts
 
Principals, district leaders, media specialists and educators interested in learning more about Weekly Reader Connect should visit www.wrconnect.com to preview the pioneering new program.
 
 
ABOUT WEEKLY READER
One of the great innovative forces in American educational publishing, Weekly Reader has been creating cutting-edge, curriculum-rich supplemental materials for more than 100 years. Our unique digital products and 12 award-winning classroom magazines give teachers tools that help them achieve their goals while inspiring students and igniting their love of learning. Every year, Weekly Reader materials reach more than 250,000 teachers and 8 million students from Pre-K to grade 12. The Weekly Reader Publishing Group (WRPG) also includes Weekly Reader Custom Publishing, Weekly Reader Curriculum Publishing, and database products Facts for Learning (www.factsforlearning.com) and Weekly Reader Express, distributed by netTrekker, Inc. WRPG is part of the Reader’s Digest Association, Inc. For more information, visit www.weeklyreader.com.
 
Weekly Reader’s Reading-Comprehension Curriculum
Weekly Reader magazines and Web content are built on a framework of skills that provides teachers with a systematic, explicit approach to teaching reading comprehension throughout the elementary school grades. Called Concepts of Comprehension©, this research-based curriculum, developed by the nonprofit Urban Education Exchange, builds students’ understanding of what they read and helps them to move successfully from one academic year to the next. The curriculum is presented through lively, timely nonfiction text that engages and excites students.
 
Weekly Reader materials also support vocabulary instruction and the expansion of background knowledge—thereby providing teachers with resources in the three research-based components of reading-comprehension instruction: inferential thinking skills, vocabulary, and background knowledge. All of this rich content is supplemented with follow-up activities and assessments.
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Explore the world with Weekly Reader at www.weeklyreader.com
 
Press contact:
Gabrielle Torello
for Weekly Reader
201-678-2824, gabtpr@yahoo.com

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