Twelve Struggling Students Named Reading All-Stars, Receive National Award For Their Academic Success

Twelve Struggling Students Named Reading All-Stars, Receive National Award For
                            Their Academic Success

Scholastic recognizes READ 180® and System 44® All-Star Award winners for
overcoming the odds and making significant reading gains

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, April 16, 2013

NEW YORK, April 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Scholastic (NASDAQ: SCHL), the
global children's publishing, education and media company, is excited to
recognize 12 outstanding students in grades 4–12 who, through their unwavering
determination and with support from their dedicated teachers, have overcome
obstacles to make impressive reading gains and set themselves on a path to
academic success. How did these exceptional students significantly improve
their reading abilities and develop newfound self-confidence? They were
enrolled in either READ 180^® or System 44^®— the leading systems proven to
raise reading achievement for struggling readers in grades 3–12.


The 12 winners— nine READ 180 students and three System 44 students —have all
had to overcome a number of personal and academic obstacles to meet their
goals. From battling dyslexia to immigrating to the United States without
knowing a word of English, these students were able to put their frustrations
aside and build their confidence by learning to read. With the help of READ
180, System 44, and their committed teachers, these students are now on a path
to college and career.

"With the demands of the Common Core State Standards, it is more important
than ever that our students are proficient readers," said Margery Mayer,
President of Scholastic Education. "We believe that literacy is the key to
survival and success in the 21^st Century, and that it enables students to
succeed not only in school, but also in life. READ 180 and System 44 have
created the building blocks for students to excel, and the inspiring stories
and accomplishments of our All-Star Award winners speak to just how powerful a
tool reading can be."

The 2013 READ 180 All-Star Award winners are:

High School

Oksana Clay
Age: 16 – Grade: 10 – Souhegan High School, Amherst, NH

Originally from Ukraine, Oksana moved to the United States not knowing any
English, but over the course of the past few years, she has been able to
overcome the language barrier to achieve academic and personal success. When
she entered READ 180, Oksana read at a first-grade level; today, she is on the
fast track to read on grade level by next year. Oksana's teacher noted, "READ
180 became a safe haven for Oksana, both socially and academically. She used
that space to test waters, take risks, and to gain the confidence she needed
to assimilate to the new world of high school in the United States." Thanks to
all she learned in READ 180, Oksana recently passed the written component of
her driver's education course.

Jake Elliott
Age: 17 – Grade: 11 – Liberty High School, Liberty, MO

Before entering READ 180, Jake had been placed in various intervention
programs that were not successful. In class, Jake would joke or ask to use the
hall pass when his teacher would ask him a question. Through the READ 180
software, Jake was able to listen to words he didn't know, work on his
vocabulary, and refine his writing. Since enrolling in READ 180,  Jake went
from reading at a sixth-grade level to reading at a twelfth-grade level, and
no longer hides from work. Jake has graduated out of READ 180 as an advanced
reader and is on track for college, where he would like to study business.
"Not only did READ 180 help me with my reading, it helped me in my other
classes," he said. "Because I became a better reader, my grades have improved
and I am able to do my work and not just joke around in class."

Yvette Uwiragiye
Age: 19 – Grade: 12 – Burlington High School, Burlington, VT

As an English language learner from Rwanda, Yvette needed intensive
instruction. While in Rwanda, Yvette had a fractured school experience and
limited exposure to English. She entered READ 180 as a quiet student who was
insecure about her reading, writing, and speaking. Yet, despite her struggles
in school, Yvette handled the transition to American society and education
with grace and determination. Yvette's resolve to succeed has helped her to
read more and she now enjoys reading. Today, she is able to read at a
sixth-grade level. She said, "I honestly believe that READ 180 has been
critical in helping me to reach my goal of going to college."

Middle School

Keyon Budd
Age: 13 – Grade: 8 – John Poole Middle School, Poolesville, MD

Keyon Budd, who you may recognize from ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,
has also received a "reading makeover." When Keyon entered the READ 180
program, he faced challenges at home and in school. Several years ago, his
aunt passed away, leaving behind ten children who joined Keyon and his three
siblings in their home. In addition to adjusting to his new home life, Keyon
was reading far below grade level. Through his hard work and determination,
Keyon has made two years' worth of reading gains and is now reading on grade
level. "My school experience has changed a lot because of READ 180," said
Keyon. "Before READ 180, I never read chapter books on my own. I would just
skim through them. Now, I like to read in my spare time." After high school,
Keyon plans to attend college, where he would like to study to become a

Allyson Summerfield
Age: 14 – Grade: 8 – West Virginia Children's Home School, Elkins, WV

Allyson was repeating seventh grade when she arrived at West Virginia
Children's Home School, and was reading at a first-grade level. Through READ
180, Allyson has discovered her ability to learn and succeed when she applies
herself. "READ 180 has changed my attitude about school," Allyson explained.
"This experience has changed my grades dramatically from all F's and D's to a
3.5 G.P.A."She is now receiving A's and B's on her report card and has
advanced from a first-grade reading level to a fifth-grade reading level in
less than two years. Allyson wants to be the first child in her family to
walk across the stage and receive her diploma.

Sequoyah Tonihka
Age: 14 – Grade: 8 – Waubun High School, Waubun, MN

After taking the state standardized test for reading, Sequoyah was scored at
far below proficient and was categorized as needing an intensive reading
program. Thanks to his enrollment in READ 180, Sequoyah has made tremendous
academic gains in all his classes. With two and a half years of growth, and
now reading on grade level, Sequoyah has graduated out of READ 180 and is
enrolled in all regular education classes, earning A's and B's. "His greatest
accomplishment was graduating from READ 180," noted Sequoyah's teacher. "This
year is a whole different world for Sequoyah as he seems to walk taller, has a
bigger smile, and has the best grades he's ever had."

Elementary School

Karen Alvarado
Age: 9 – Grade: 4 – West Central Elementary School, Joplin, MO

When Karen moved to the United States from Mexico a year and a half ago, she
didn't speak a word of English. With only two years of READ 180 instruction,
Karen is reading above her fourth-grade peers at a fifth-grade level. Karen
noted, "Before I was in READ 180, I didn't read at all at home. Now, I can't
sleep at night without reading. READ 180 changed my life!"Karen's new skills
have enabled her to help her cousins improve their reading and spelling as
well; her goal is to keep working hard in school so that one day she can get a
good job and earn money to support her family. Of Karen's achievements, her
teacher wrote, "Karen has the confidence now to live her dream, even though
she is in elementary school. She knows now that she can do whatever she wants
to do with her life because she has found success, which she says comes from
READ 180!"

Emmett Infante
Age: 11 – Grade: 6 – Doyle Elementary School, Doylestown, PA

Once described as withdrawn, Emmett found a new sense of self-confidence
through READ 180 and has gone from being a struggling reader himself to giving
support to peers who are performing at a lower level. Now reading on grade
level, Emmett has shown three years of growth since being enrolled in the READ
180 program two years ago. His teachers speak highly of how hard he works to
do his best. With his positive outlook and determination, Emmett has gotten
involved with extracurricular activities like basketball and the school safety
program. "READ 180 has changed my school experience," wrote Emmett.

Keily Ortiz
Age: 10 – Grade: 4 – Dane Barse Elementary School, Vineland, NJ

When she started third grade, Keily struggled so much with reading that
homework would often take her three to four hours to complete. Raised in a
primarily Spanish-speaking home, Keily never gave up on her desire to read and
write in English. Now fluent, Keily often translates for her parents and helps
her cousins with their reading and homework. By improving her reading and
strengthening her writing skills and vocabulary, Keily is on track to become
grade-level proficient. With her newfound writing ability, she produces
stories that reflect her love of pets and her career goal of becoming a
veterinarian. "Keily has gone from a student who rarely volunteered  to an
enthusiastic participant," said Keily's teacher.

The 2013 System 44 All-Star Award winners are:

Nazem Elakesh
Age: 11 – Grade: 5 – Lisa J. Mails Elementary School, Murrieta, CA

Graduating out of System 44 was a tremendous accomplishment for Nazem, who
started the program two years ago as a quiet student who struggled with
reading, writing, and spelling. Today, Nazem continues to grow in his reading
and is on a path to reach grade level in less than a year. "When my teacher
told me that I passed, I was so happy. It was the first thing I told my mom
and dad when I got home from school that day," Nazem said.  His enthusiasm is
contagious: as a result of his success in System 44, Nazem has become much
more invested in his education and has even enrolled in the Science Club to
further develop his interest in science experiments. He aspires to be a
professional basketball player, but thinks college is a good idea and is
focused on continuing his journey to improve his skills and abilities.

Daniel Guerrero
Age: 11 – Grade: 4 – Beacon Hill Elementary School, San Antonio, TX

Daniel went into System 44 certain that he'd hate it; however, since beginning
the program in January 2012, Daniel's reading level has increased by two
years, now putting him above the class average. Daniel says that System 44 has
helped him to love books. In fact, he read 30 books in a year, and has set a
personal goal to read all of the books in the System 44 program. "The System
44 books have become a comfort to him and he goes to them when he feels angry
or down on himself," noted Daniel's teacher. His newfound love of reading has
helped him feel empowered and has given him more self-confidence.

Eduardo Lopez Soriano
Age: 10 – Grade: 5 – Lakewood School, Carpentersville, IL

Originally from Mexico, Eduardo's first language was Spanish, and when he was
initially enrolled in the System 44 program he had great trouble with his
placement test. While struggling to read and learn English, Eduardo also had
difficulties with his speech. After his experience in System 44, he can now
read at a third-grade level and was nominated to represent his class at the
Service-Learning Youth Leadership Conference because of his excitement about
learning, his leadership qualities, and his respect for others. Eduardo's
teacher stated, "Eduardo started the year standing out because he struggled in
English. Now, he stands out because he radiates determination and success in
everything he sets his mind to and works to achieve."

You can learn more about READ 180 and System 44 here. For additional
information about Scholastic, please visit our media room.

SOURCE Scholastic

Contact: Alexandra Wladich, Scholastic Inc., 212-965-7353 or, or Lia Zneimer, Scholastic Inc., 212-343-6901 or
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