Schools all over the state, country and world are now using learning software developed by a Provo company to help children learn to read and improve their reading skills.
Provo-based Imagine Learning English provides online lessons, games and assessments for parents, teachers and administrators. Imagine Learning English offers a developmentally appropriate program that teaches the five essential components of reading. It is used extensively in schools throughout Utah and around the country, providing an adaptive curriculum, ongoing assessments and detailed reports -- and it's entertaining.
"We are a business, but we are in the business of educating children and opening doors of opportunity. Our mission is to create innovative educational products that provide brighter futures for children around the world," President and Chief Operating Officer Joe Swenson said.
The company was founded in 2004 by Susan W. Preator, who worked in early childhood literacy at the Waterford Institute. She developed the software for English learners, most of whom were children learning English as a second language.
"Our mission is to produce the most effective language and literacy solution that will help as many students as possible. That line of site has allowed us to experience tremendous growth even through a recessionary time," Preator said.
That original program has grown into several programs for all readers and grade levels. Its staff includes nationally recognized writers, artists, musicians and educators that make this interactive program a leader nationally in technology-based learning.
"We saw an area of the student population whose needs were not adequately met, and we knew we had the skills and experience to help administrators meet those needs," Preator said. "It was a mission we felt we were uniquely prepared for."
The programs focus on phonemic awareness like rhyme -- phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. Students can be measured on their mastery levels, and teachers and parents can receive reports on their progress.
The Provo School District has been using Imagine Learning programs for the past two years. Chief Academic Officer for Imagine Learning Marc Liebman is particularly happy to be working with schools so close to Imagine Learning's headquarters.
"One of the things we're most excited about is making a positive impact in our own community. Schools throughout Utah are using our software to help students master English and find success. It's been exhilarating to see the positive results, especially in the Utah County schools so close to our home office," Liebman said.
Imagine Learning English is now used in nine out of the 10 largest school districts in the nation, including 44 states, and also is in South Korea, Japan, Brazil and Mexico.
Its online service offers more than 2,500 activities that engage students. Its readiness program for kindergartners teaches vocabulary, language for the classroom and following directions. Programs are age appropriate and provide immediate instructive feedback.
Test assessments used at the Chula Vista Elementary School District in California indicate that beginning English learners jumped an average of 104 points on the California English Language Development Test after using Imagine Learning's interactive language and literacy software program designed to accelerate language development.
"Imagine Learning English truly is the language and literacy solution for English learners," Preator said. "Our company is committed to providing educators with tools that empower language learners to acquire English, achieve grade-level reading and find success in the classroom and beyond."
Those interested in more information can also access Imagine Learning's YouTube channel, http://www.youtube.com/user/ILE84604, to watch videos about the students it serves, or check out its blog, http://www.imaginelearning.com/blog, to see what they've recently created for teachers, parents and students.