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Benchmark Education announces new early learning literacy intervention program

Literacy publisher Benchmark Education Company (BEC) announced a new literacy intervention program for grades K–2 in print format with online support. Spring Forward helps students build essential literacy skills through explicit strategy-based instruction.

The program provides teachers with everything they need to help struggling young readers accelerate progress in developing foundational skills, oral language, metacognition, vocabulary, fluency, comprehension, and writing. The program includes 228 new leveled books, with an equal number of fiction and non-fiction titles. BEC released its best-selling parallel intervention program in Spanish, Soluciones, last year.

Each Spring Forward grade-level purchase option consists of six copies each of 60 or more science and social studies leveled books organized into two-book sets. Each two-book set features a double-sided colorful poster companion and a Teacher’s Guide that provides week-by-week instruction. The two-book sets and posters provide opportunities to read across texts at each student’s instructional reading level to compare and contrast ideas, themes, story elements, and author’s craft elements.

Spring Forward’s Kindergarten intervention resources develop concepts about print, vocabulary, writing, and phonics skills. First-grade intervention resources include grades K and 1 levels to support the leap to complex text. Second-grade resources progress from emergent to early/fluent reading levels to scaffold diverse readers.

Additional components to help accelerate student growth in literacy include a Progress Monitoring Handbook, an Oral Reading Records Handbook, more than 60 Take-Home Books in downloadable PDF-format to extend students’ learning and support family engagement, 100 Picture Cards, and 26 Letter Cards per grade.

Teacher’s Guides in Spring Forward provide 30 to 45 minutes of daily instruction per week. During small group instruction, educators guide three to four students in reading two precisely leveled books each week: one fiction and one non-fiction. As a Tier 1 & 2 Intervention solution, Spring Forward helps teachers prepare students for on grade-level reading participation.

Spring Forward has several features that make it unique to the marketplace. The program is not confined to a strict schedule, but rather offers flexible pacing options. It can be seamlessly integrated with BEC’s core literacy program Benchmark Literacy or used as a stand-alone intervention system. It was specifically designed to address Common Core State Standards and other new state standards, and emphasizes close reading as well as finding and using text evidence, access to complex text and academic rigor. Most significantly, it was conceived with the overarching idea that it can be used by the sole classroom teacher in either a classroom or pull-out setting.

Built on three instructional pillars—assess, instruct, accelerate—Spring Forward provides immediate and strategic intervention:
• Pre and post assessment to determine student placement in and exit from the program
• Progress monitoring to help make informed decisions and scaffold learning
• A variety of engaging informational and literary texts to build foundational skills and close learning gaps

“We are proud to offer research-based literacy resources to support intervention efforts. Spring Forward develops essential language and reading skills in diverse students from Kindergarten through grade 2,” said Tom Reycraft, President of Benchmark Education Company. “The instruction is thoughtful, explicit and strategy-based—strengthening teaching effectiveness and helping students to make measurable progress. Spring Forward and its parallel Spanish counterpart, Soluciones, are both suitable for yearlong intervention and summer school use.”

Spring Forward is a print-format package that also includes downloadable digital books. A computer with Internet access is needed to access those components. The product is available for immediate shipment through Benchmark Education.

Spring Forward is sold by individual grades starting at $2,295. The suggested price for the full set grades K–2 is $7,995.

Laura Ascione

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