As summer school planning swings into full gear, K-12 districts and schools are looking for proven ways to close achievement gaps, combat summer learning loss, and propel students to higher learning. According to a 2011 study by RAND® Education, “Making Summer Count: How Summer Programs Can Boost Children’s Learning,” there are a number of practices that are associated with improved student outcomes in summer programs, such as creating smaller class sizes, providing individualized instruction, and maximizing students’ attendance. Another practice that can boost summer learning is providing engaging, rigorous programming that goes beyond “drill-and-kill” instruction and gives students learning experiences that feel “different” from school year instruction.

To help educators enhance their summer programs with innovative instruction that accelerates learning, Scientific Learning Corp. (OTCQB:SCIL) today introduces the Reading Assistant™ Summer School Package. Reading Assistant is an online program proven to increase reading fluency and comprehension. It works like a personal reading coach, using speech recognition technology to “listen” to students as they read out loud and offering decoding support just when they need it. The new Summer School Package offers schools an array of easy-to-implement options, including 30 or 60 student licenses or a full site license, and teacher training. The package can also be customized for any school or district.

“Students who attend summer school are often those who have struggled during the school year. That’s why summer is an ideal time to try something new and to engage kids in a different way,” said Logan De Lay, senior researcher at Scientific Learning. “With Reading Assistant, schools can provide individualized, online reading coaching for every student, anytime and anywhere. The program includes reading selections for a variety of interests and reading levels, and it has frequent comprehension checks to keep students motivated and focused on reading for meaning. When students are challenged, having fun and feeling successful, they want to come to class — even in the summer — and their learning accelerates.”

Students using the Reading Assistant program can improve their reading grade level up to 50 percent more than students receiving classroom instruction alone, in the same time period. In a one-month summer program last year in Marion County Schools, WV, participating students gained more than six months in reading comprehension, on average. In a five-week summer program in Wayne County Public Schools, N.C., students jumped from the 21st to the 30th percentile — a statistically significant improvement — after working with Reading Assistant. They also improved their average reading level, moving from “struggling readers” to “emerging readers.”

Reading Assistant includes more than 300 leveled reading selections aligned with Common Core Standards, including science, history and social studies. It also features variety of genres supporting elementary to high school curriculum, including both literature and informational text at all reading levels. The Reading Assistant program was recently named a winner in the 30th annual Awards of Excellence by Tech & Learning magazine.

About Scientific Learning Corp.
We accelerate learning by applying proven research on how the brain learns. Scientific Learning’s results are demonstrated in over 270 research studies and protected by over 55 patents. Learners can realize achievement gains of up to two years in as little as three months and maintain an accelerated rate of learning even after the programs end.

Today, learners have used over 3 million Scientific Learning software products. We provide our offerings directly to parents, K–12 schools and learning centers, and in more than 45 countries around the world. For more information, visit www.scientificlearning.com or call toll-free 888-810-0250.

About the Author:

Leslie Eicher