Thirteen U.S. Students Are Honored by Scholastic for Outstanding Academic Success

  Thirteen U.S. Students Are Honored by Scholastic for Outstanding Academic

READ 180®and System 44®All-Star Award winners recognized for overcoming the
odds and improving their reading skills

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, April 28, 2014

NEW YORK, April 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --Scholastic (NASDAQ: SCHL), the global
children's publishing, education and media company, today named 13 exceptional
students in grades 5–12 as READ 180^® and System 44^® All-Stars. Thanks to
their dedicated teachers and enrollment in Scholastic READ 180 or System 44,
the leading blended learning programs proven to raise reading achievement for
at-risk readers, these students achieved remarkable reading gains. They were
able to overcome obstacles, setting themselves on the path to college and
career readiness.

Scholastic Logo.

The 13 award winners—ten READ 180 students and three System 44 students—have
all significantly improved their reading abilities and developed newfound
self-confidence with support from their dedicated READ 180 and System 44
teachers. Whether they faced health challenges, learning disabilities or the
difficulty of learning English for the first time, these 13 students from
across the country were able to put aside academic and personal challenges to
make significant reading gains that are helping them succeed in all subject

"I am inspired by the stories of these All-Stars and their ability to
persevere, work hard and overcome the challenges in their paths," said Margery
Mayer, President of Scholastic Education. "For students to meet the more
rigorous reading and writing standards being put in place across the country,
it is vital for them to become expert readers and writers. The stories of
these incredible students should serve as a reminder that it's never too late
for students to learn to read and turn their academic careers and lives

The 2014 READ 180 All-Star Award winners are:

Elementary School

  oMichaela Bowser
    Age 11 – Grade: 5 – Baker Elementary School, Altoona, PA
    Having been homeschooled through the third grade, Michaela entered Baker
    Elementary School as a fourth-grader with an infectious enthusiasm for
    learning, but as a beginning reader. It's now one year later, and Michaela
    has closed gaps in phonics and surpassed her goals. With hard work and
    support from her teachers and family, she is now closer than ever to being
    on grade level. "Due largely to her participation and success in the READ
    180 program, Michaela now has many aspirations for her future," noted her
    teacher. "In addition to attending a trade school, Michaela wishes to play
    volleyball professionally. Not only has she been practicing her skills,
    she has been reading books about the sport to learn as much as she can."

  oDalton West
    Age 11 – Grade: 5 – Canton Elementary STEM Academy, Canton, GA
    Today, Dalton loves to read so much that he can often be found reading
    books for fun at home while other kids are playing video games. But
    reading wasn't always fun for him. Before starting READ 180, Dalton was
    two years below grade level in reading. Also, health challenges forced
    Dalton and his family to make repeated trips between Georgia and Ohio for
    treatment. But he always remained motivated to succeed. Passionate about
    his education, Dalton continued his studies through the  use of e-readers.
    Inspired by the men and women who have served him during his
    hospitalization, Dalton wants to give back with a career in the medical
    field. "Dalton is making the connection between his studies and his future
    hopes and dreams," said his teacher, Robert Howland. "His positive example
    makes him a true role model for other students."

  oCaleb Yamaguchi
    Age 11 – Grade: 6 – Sakamoto Elementary School, San Jose, CA
    Two years ago, at the beginning of his fourth grade year, Caleb struggled
    with many of the building blocks of reading (decoding, sound-symbol
    connections and phonics) because of a learning disability that added to
    the challenge of learning to read. After two years in intervention
    programs, first System 44 and then READ 180, Caleb has quickly improved
    his reading skills, jumping the equivalent of three grade levels in his
    reading ability. A crowning achievement for him was reading Hatchet, a
    grade-level text, along with the rest of his classmates. "It was hard, but
    I had to read it on my own," he said. His teacher says he is now a leader
    in the classroom and on the football field, where he dreams of becoming an
    NFL star.

Middle School

  oLisette Cortes
    Age 13 – Grade: 7 – Washington Middle School, Yakima, WA
    When speaking with Lisette, you would never guess that two years ago she
    was a timid student who read on a first grade level. Today, Lisette reads
    on an 8^th grade level and has become a leader at home by helping her
    siblings with schoolwork. Next year, Lisette will serve as a school mentor
    to incoming 6^th-graders. When asked how READ 180 has impacted her life,
    Lisette said, "It has helped me read better. I used to read slowly and I
    used to get frustrated when I was reading, because I couldn't read fast
    like the other kids." Currently Lisette is earning all A's and B's. "With
    the success she has developed through READ180 her confidence is carrying
    over to her other classes," said her teacher, Heather Harris.

  oJose Feliciano
    Age 13 – Grade: 7 – Spc. Rafael Hernando Middle School, El Paso, TX
    A kind and generous "helper," as his teacher describes him, Jose never
    hesitates to step up and help his fellow READ 180 students when they need
    assistance. Just a few months ago, he was a student whose reading scores
    were holding him back from succeeding in all his classes and dragging down
    his self-confidence. But all that has changed since the beginning of his
    seventh grade year. He has already gained the equivalent of two years in
    his reading skills in this school year. His newfound success has boosted
    his confidence, helped him become more self-reliant in class, and
    transformed him into a leader. "This program has given me the confidence
    needed to achieve better grades in both reading and writing," Jose said.
    He says he wants to pursue a career where he can help others. Like his
    father, he says he wants to join the Army.

  oRobert Moser
    Age 13 – Grade: 7 – Upper Merion Middle School, King of Prussia, PA
    Robert is an honor student, a member of the student council and a
    voracious reader. His story inspires because of the obstacles he overcame
    to get where he is today.A student with autism, Robert was unable to speak
    until he was 4 years old. In three years since he started READ 180, his
    reading skills have soared, allowing him to read at a fifth-grade level
    with the goal of eventually achieving grade level fluency. "Robert has
    demonstrated remarkable growth socially due to the increase in his
    self-esteem and self-confidence as he's found success in his academics,"
    said his teacher. Robert is a passionate Philadelphia sports fan and
    continues to read every day with dreams of one day becoming an animator.

High School

  oManuel de Jesus Hernandez-Martinez
    Age 16 – Grade: 10 – Thomas Dale High School, Chester, VA
    Manuel immigrated to the United States from Mexico when he was five years
    old. Coming from a household of Spanish speakers, Manuel had to learn
    English at school and translate for his family. At the start of his 8^th
    grade year, Manuel was a beginning reader. Through the use of READ 180,
    this year he was able to pass all his Virginia Standards of Learning tests
    for the ninth grade. "One of the biggest ways READ 180 has helped me was
    when I needed to get my Social Security card," Manuel explained. "I got
    the form and was able to read and fill it out all on my own. If it wasn't
    for READ180, I never would have been able to understand he complicated
    forms." In 2016, Manuel will be the first person in his family to earn a
    high school diploma.

  oMichael Hurd
    Age 17 – Grade: 12 – Dover High School, Dover, DE
    At the beginning of his high school career, Michael had significant
    difficulties with reading because of his dyslexia and because the content
    at the high school level was simply too challenging for someone so far
    behind. Fast forward to today: Michael is an All-State football player who
    is getting ready to graduate and enroll at Delaware State University in
    the fall. "Big Red," as he is known to his friends and teachers, gained
    the equivalent of almost 10 years in his reading ability since he started
    high school. Thanks to his hard work in READ 180 and his partnership with
    his teacher, Michael is now an honor roll student and is destined for
    success, whether on the football field, in the classroom, or in the career
    of his choice. "Football and my education are going to take me somewhere,"
    he said.

  oAfnan Khan
    Age 16 – Grade: 10 – Minuteman Technical High School, Lexington, MA
    Originally born and raised in Pakistan, Afnan and her family moved to the
    United States with hopes for a more stable lifestyle and a quality
    education. While she started far below grade level, Afnan adjusted to
    American culture and persevered in her reading goals despite language
    barriers. Today, she is on the fast track to becoming a proficient reader
    by the end of the school year. "Now with READ 180, I understand more of
    what I am reading. I feel confident with my answers," said Afnan. "I am
    not nervous to read aloud in class." Afnan's determination and hard work
    have transformed her confidence, inspiring her to study Spanish and
    receive acceptance into her school's Health Occupations program with the
    hope of one day becoming a pediatrician.

  oDarline Manfred
    Age 15 – Grade: 11 – Westerly High School, Westerly, RI
    Prior to moving to the United States, Darline never had any formal
    schooling in her birthplace, Port-au-Prince, Haiti. After the devastating
    2010 Haiti earthquake, Darline arrived in Westerly, RI,  reading far below
    grade level. But, because of her resilience and thirst for knowledge, she
    overcame the challenge of being an English language learner in a new
    country and excelled academically, improving her reading by the equivalent
    of five grade levels in two and a half years. "I decided to make a
    difference for myself by working hard every day and learning how to be
    successful in my READ 180 class," explained Darline. Her academic
    confidence led her to playing on the school volleyball team, and she would
    like to one day return to her homeland to inspire other Haitian children
    to develop a similar passion for reading.

The 2014 System 44 All-Star Award winners are:

  oJesus Pantoja
    Age 10 – Grade: 5 – Marvine Elementary School, Bethlehem, PA
    Jesus moved to Bethlehem from Puerto Rico when he was four years old. As a
    native Spanish-speaker, language barriers made it difficult for him to
    master reading and writing in English. In his fifth-grade year, he was
    enrolled in System 44, and then everything changed for him. In four short
    months, Jesus was reading on a 4^th grade level. "System 44 made reading a
    lot easier," Jesus said. "When I read out loud in class I don't feel
    nervous like I used to. System 44 has made me love reading." His teacher,
    Scott Toonder noted, "Jesus' transformation has been amazing in so many
    ways, but perhaps the most striking change is in his attitude toward

  oMatthew Schultz
    Age 18 – Grade: 12 – Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School, Burnt Hills,
    Matt Schultz is well known in his community as a high school student
    campaigning for a seat on the local school board, a soon-to-be graduate
    who will be attending college in the fall and aspires to be a lawyer. But
    the back story is how in the last two years he has overcome severe reading
    difficulties and dyslexia to become the confident, high-achieving student
    he is today. As a junior, he had difficulty reading out loud and lacked
    some basic phonics skills that made reading hard. And without strong
    reading skills, succeeding in any class was a challenge. But through hard
    work in his school's System 44 intervention program, Matt made huge
    academic and emotional gains. His is a story of how learning to read can
    give any student the confidence to reach for the stars. "I was able to
    overcome the dyslexia," he said. "Now I'm reading a lot more outside of
    class, reading bigger and longer books."

  oJamaica Williams
    Age 10 – Grade: 5 – Temperance-Kutner Elementary School, Fresno, CA
    By the time she reached fourth grade, Jamaica found herself reading far
    below grade level. In fifth grade, she began System 44, and has been
    making steady gains ever since. "Before System 44, I wasn't really reading
    my books. I rushed through and I really didn't understand the words that
    were in them," said Jamaica. "After System 44, I read my book six times. I
    knew the words and I took my time. On my quizzes, I got 100%!" As the
    oldest child in her family, Jamaica plays a prominent role in the
    upbringing of her three siblings. Despite all obstacles, Jamaica is known
    for her upbeat and positive spirit in the classroom, on the cheer team and
    in the school choir. Jamaica is well on her way to her goal of reading on
    grade level.

The READ 180 and System 44 All-Stars will each receive a $1,200 check from
Scholastic to be used towards furthering their education, and the winning
students' nominating teachers will each receive $1,000 worth of Scholastic
READ 180 and System 44 educational materials for their classrooms. For
additional information about Scholastic, please visit our media room.

About Scholastic System 44^®:

System 44is a proven foundational reading and phonics intervention technology
program for our most at-risk readers in Grades 3–12+.System 44helps students
master the foundational reading skills required for success with the Common
Core through explicit instruction in comprehension and writing and a
personalized learning progression driven by technology.

About Scholastic READ 180^®:

READ 180, the most effective system for raising student achievement in grades
4-12+, has been significantly updated to meet the rigorous reading and writing
expectations of the new standards.READ 180includes more rigor throughout,
new grade-level text, new text-dependent questions, more nonfiction, new
performance-based assessments and a new Writing Zone—all available for iPad™.

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SOURCE Scholastic

Contact: Tyler Reed, Scholastic Inc., 212-343-6427 or,
Alexandra Wladich, Scholastic Inc., 212-965-7353 or,
Brittany Sullivan, Scholastic Inc., 212-343-4848or
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