Renaissance Learning Introduces New Reading Intervention Program

10/21/2011 1:18:16 PM

Renaissance Learning, Inc. announced today the introduction of Successful Reader, a research-based reading intervention program focused on the key skill and motivational needs of struggling readers in grades 4-12. This exciting new product combines the world’s most popular and successful Accelerated Reader program, powerful instructional materials created by leading reading intervention expert Dr. Roger Farr, and premium digital audiobooks supplied by AudibleKids.com, a service of Audible, Inc., a subsidiary of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), to deliver the most exciting and motivational reading intervention product ever.   

Successful Reader helps teachers build student self-confidence and motivation to read, and improves overall reading achievement through a unique “book club” design that incorporates award-winning literature with professionally narrated read-aloud audiobooks from AudibleKids.com, key skills instruction and application, informal writing, and guided independent reading practice. The book club approach offers an inviting atmosphere and encourages students to express their thoughts, ideas, and reactions to reading, which helps develop their reading comprehension and makes them more critical readers and thinkers.

Successful Reader combines the widely-used Accelerated Reader and STAR Reading progress monitoring software with powerful instructional materials to dramatically improve achievement of struggling students. Because this program helps students focus on the most critical elements needed for reading growth, teachers can implement Successful Reader easier and quicker than other interventions, enabling students to experience success sooner. In addition, the Successful Reader model provides explicit instruction in key skill areas to impact reading achievement, making it a perfect tool for Tier 2 and above in a successful Response to Intervention framework.

Developed with Dr. Roger Farr, a leading expert in the field of reading intervention and former president of the International Reading Association, Successful Reader will help educators focus on the most critical needs of their students by following its easy-to-use instructional model. “Struggling readers need to engage in thoughtful responses to engaging stories. They need to be motivated and experience success,” said Dr. Farr. “It’s also critical that key reading comprehension strategies all good readers use are modeled for them and that they are given the opportunity to practice these skills with self-selected literature. Successful Reader takes struggling readers into an audio and print book club where all of these things happen with well planned, easy-to-implement teaching strategies.”

“Successful Reader is a powerful new product that serves to validate the efficacy of literate listening for developing readers,” said Donald Katz, founder and CEO of Audible. “From a child’s earliest experience of literature read out loud to our success at Audible in turning iPods and other digital devices into learning tools, evidence continuously confirms that audiobooks are becoming an essential aspect of learning to read well.”

Successful Reader comes with 400 engaging trade books (20 copies each of 20 titles); two teacher guides and 20 student guides; professionally narrated audiobooks provided by AudibleKids; an MP3 player with external speaker; access to an interactive web site for teachers to learn tips and techniques from reading intervention experts and share ideas with others implementing Successful Reader; and professional development to help teachers maximize their implementation.

Successful Reader Upper Elementary and Middle Grade packages are expected to be available in spring, with a High School package in development for future release. Successful Reader is designed to work with Accelerated Reader Enterprise and STAR Reading. Not only is Successful Reader more effective than other reading intervention programs, it’s also more affordable. For more information about Successful Reader, visit www.renlearn.com/lp/sfr/.
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About Renaissance Learning, Inc.
Renaissance Learning, Inc. is the world’s leading provider of computer-based assessment technology for pre-K–12 schools. Adopted by more than 75,000 North American schools, Renaissance Learning’s tools provide daily formative assessment and periodic progress-monitoring technology to enhance core curriculum, support differentiated instruction, and personalize practice in reading, writing and math. Renaissance Learning products help educators make the practice component of their existing curriculum more effective by providing tools to personalize practice and easily manage the daily activities for students of all levels. As a result, teachers using Renaissance Learning products accelerate learning, get more satisfaction from teaching, and help students achieve higher test scores on state and national tests. Renaissance Learning has seven U.S. locations and subsidiaries in Canada, India, and the United Kingdom.

About Audible.com
Audible (www.audible.com) is the leading provider of premium digital spoken audio information and entertainment on the internet. Content from Audible is downloaded and played back on personal computers, CDs, or AudibleReady computer-based and wireless mobile devices. Audible has over 50,000 audio programs from more than 700 content providers that include leading audiobook publishers, broadcasters, entertainers, magazine and newspaper publishers, and business information providers. Audible is the preeminent provider of spoken-word audio products for Apple’s iTunes Store. Audible, Audible.com, AudibleListener, AudibleReady and AudibleKids are trademarks of Audible, Inc. or its affiliates. Other product or service names mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

About Amazon.com
Amazon.com, Inc., (NASDAQ: AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth's Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth's most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. Amazon.com and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as books, movies, music & games, digital downloads, electronics & computers, home & garden, toys, kids & baby, grocery, apparel, shoes & jewelry, health & beauty, sports & outdoors, and tools, auto & industrial.

Amazon Web Services provides Amazon’s developer customers with access to in-the-cloud infrastructure services based on Amazon's own back-end technology platform, which developers can use to enable virtually any type of business.  Examples of the services offered by Amazon Web Services are Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon SimpleDB, Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS), Amazon Flexible Payments Service (Amazon FPS), and Amazon Mechanical Turk.

Amazon and its affiliates operate websites, including www.amazon.com, www.amazon.co.uk, www.amazon.de, www.amazon.co.jp, www.amazon.fr, www.amazon.ca, and the Joyo Amazon websites at www.joyo.cn and www.amazon.cn.

As used herein, “Amazon.com,” “we,” “our” and similar terms include Amazon.com, Inc., and its subsidiaries, unless the context indicates otherwise.

Forward-Looking Statements – Amazon.com, Inc.
This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may differ significantly from management's expectations. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, risks related to competition, management of growth, new products, services and technologies, potential fluctuations in operating results, international expansion, outcomes of legal proceedings and claims, fulfillment center optimization, seasonality, commercial agreements, acquisitions and strategic transactions, foreign exchange rates, system interruption, significant amount of indebtedness, inventory, government regulation and taxation, payments and fraud. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com's financial results is included in Amazon.com's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007, and subsequent filings.

Forward-Looking Statements – Renaissance Learning, Inc.
This press release contains forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding growth initiatives, growth prospects, new products and management’s expectations regarding orders and financial results for 2009 and future periods. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and various assumptions which management believes are reasonable.  However, these statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from any future results encompassed within the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include the failure of Successful Reader to achieve widespread acceptance or achieve expected results, a decline in quiz sales that exceeds forecasts, risks associated with the implementation of the Company’s strategic growth plan, dependence on educational institutions and government funding, and other risks affecting the Company’s business as described in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company’s 2007 Annual Report on Form 10-K and later filed quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K, which factors are incorporated herein by reference. The Company expressly disclaims a duty to provide updates to forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or other occurrences.

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