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Sunburst Digital Partners with Speakaboos to Bring the Award-Winning Reading Motivation and Literacy Platform to Elementary Schools Nationwide

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Today, Sunburst announced Speakaboos for School, a new initiative bringing the award-winning digital reading motivation platform to elementary schools across the country through the Sunburst network. The Speakaboos platform motivates children of all reading levels, helping them become self-confident, independent readers through a library categorized by children's interests and featuring engaging stroies that leverage interactive technology and active learning. Students build reading confidence through a scaffolded 3-step approach of: Read to Me, Read & Play, and Read It Myself. The expert-developed and kid-tested pedagogy incorporates tools like: read-along highlighted text, recorded words pronounced with a mouse-click or tap, interactive illustrations and animation advancing the plot line. The easy-to-use technology allows students to build a deeper level of comprehension and supports literacy skills.

All Speakaboos content is developed to be both educational and engaging and is based on the acclaimed research of Dr. Alice Wilder, one of the world's leading experts on literacy through media. Dr. Wilder, who is the Chief Learning Officer for Speakaboos, has taken her experience creating and producing beloved children's programs such as Blue's Clues and SuperWHY! and applied it to a uniquely effective learning model that is anchored in active learning, comprehension-based storytelling, and formative research. Research supports the idea that students who read at grade level, as well as those who struggle to read, will make attempts to read more often if they have access to materials that engage and align with their personal interests.

"Our focus at Speakaboos is to deliver a highly engaging, research-based literacy support program," says Neal Shenoy, CEO and Co-Founder of Speakaboos, "Our Chief Learning Officer, Dr. Alice Wilder, has led discussions nationally for decades that offer compelling evidence that a key factor in motivating children to read is to provide them with stories aligned with their interests. And, when a child is motivated to read – and reads more because of this heightened engagement – learning increases. We're thrilled to be working with Sunburst Digital to bring the Speakaboos platform to schools, educators and students across the country through its extensive and trusted network."

"We are in our third decade of supporting teachers in their daily activities that light up learning for every child. No area in that daily mission is more impactful than fostering a love for reading," says Heidi Parsons, Curriculum Specialist at Sunburst. "The Speakaboos platform's attention to solid instructional design, its flexibility to work on any classroom or student technology, and its well-informed and deeply researched literacy practices makes Speakaboos a must-have for our elementary school customers."

Every Speakaboos story is tested with students in a school setting. Feedback sessions are used to refine story lines, improve interactivity, streamline usability, and enhance the reading experience, student engagement and literacy impact.

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