HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwired - May 5, 2014) - Neuhaus Education Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting reading success and literacy locally and nationally, announced today the launch of Neuhaus Academy -- an innovative program that provides free self-paced instruction in multiple formats to meet individual learning needs.
Based on 21st century teaching techniques, Neuhaus Academy provides interactive instruction and access to inventive learning techniques at any time. The flexible online program provides students with videos and phonetic pronunciation of a word, allowing them to hear and then repeat the sounds of the word. It also sends students on different learning paths depending on their needs and abilities.
"We are so excited about launching this new reading platform," said Marybeth Flachbart, president and CEO of Neuhaus Education Center. "Neuhaus Academy gives teachers a new tool that can transform young readers who are struggling, prepare students studying for entrance exams and advance adults with busy schedules. This technology will change the way reading is taught and learned."
The tool is effective for readers of all ages because of the constant repetition of the lesson, using different examples and questions, allowing the learner to build a deep and rich understanding of the material at his or her own pace. By connecting academic and professional vocabulary words to world and cultural knowledge, Neuhaus Academy helps learners of all ages build comprehension.
Neuhaus Education Center offers this free tool to the Houston and national communities because of its foundational belief in aiding all readers, with a special focus on adolescent and adult learners. The program also has instructor manuals and Companion Readers sold individually or as a set, which are designed to work in tandem with the online component. They are available online at the Neuhaus Store at http://neuhaus.org/online-store/.
"Neuhaus Academy flips the classroom," said Suzanne Carreker, senior vice president and creator of Neuhaus Academy. "Learners learn independently online and deepen their world knowledge through partner and small group activities. Project-based learning activities integrate knowing and doing and improve communication skills, reading, and writing. There is something for every learner. The possibilities are endless."
The instructor manuals include bright illustrations, reproducible work pages, and new ways to approach reading. As part of a pilot program, the instructor manual portion of the program was implemented at Jane Long Academy, a Houston Independent School District public middle school, and was met with tremendous success.
During the pilot program, a seventh-grade and eighth-grade teacher at Jane Long Academy used the Neuhaus Academy teaching manuals for ten weeks. At the end of the ten-week period, the seventh-grade students made statistically significant gains in fluency and comprehension and the eighth-grade students made statistically significant gains in fluency. During the pilot program the entire campus adopted the Neuhaus word of the week, which was broadcast over the school announcement system each morning.
"I recommend it heartily because it gives teachers tools to use with struggling students," said Kathy Zimbaldi, instructional coordinator at Jane Long Academy. "Some teachers may not know what they need to do or how to start helping a struggling reader. With Neuhaus Academy they can tailor it to the particular student."
"I hoped that a spirit of learning and adventure with words would evolve at Jane Long Academy, and that is exactly what has happened," she continued. "Although we began with just a pilot program in the two classrooms, it has evolved beyond that. We now have the 'Word of the Week.' We have activities in the morning on thinking skills. Teachers have taken Neuhaus Academy and used it in content areas in ways that we had only hoped would happen. We see it's contagious, and that is always an exciting thing to have happen at a school."
The launch of Neuhaus Academy follows the recent announcement from the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, which addresses Houston's literacy crisis with its blueprint for community action. The Foundation, aided with targeted funding, will financially support Houston's literacy providers so programs and capacity can be expanded to reach more citizens suffering from low literacy. One in five Houstonians are functionally illiterate. The Neuhaus Academy reading platform is an effective and free tool to help learners gain the reading and life skills they need to be productive members of our community.
While many reading initiatives focus on young readers, Neuhaus Academy specifically targets adolescent and adult learners.
While it is generally difficult for adult learners to make the time to improve their reading skills, this program will meet readers where they are on the path of learning. The Academy will begin an adult literacy course in the fall that will accelerate the learning process and enrich the program.
For more than 25 years, Neuhaus has provided scientifically based reading instruction to more than 60,000 teachers of reading and served approximately 2,000 adult learners. Neuhaus offers more than 15 courses taught in-house and 10 online courses and, in the past year alone, assisted more than 2,500 parents through onsite consultation and outreach programs.
Visit the Neuhaus Academy online platform at www.neuhausacademy.org. After taking the steps to create a free account, the online reading program is readily available to the user.
About Neuhaus Education Center:
Neuhaus Education Center is a 501(c)(3) educational foundation is dedicated to promoting reading success. Neuhaus provides evidence-based training and support to educators, supplies information and resources to families, and offers direct services to adult learners. Its staff includes licensed dyslexia therapists, authors of research papers in peer-reviewed journals and textbook chapters on effective reading instruction, and board members of international organizations that promote scientifically based reading instruction.