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Pearson Unveils Get Ready to Read!-Revised, a Powerful, Practical Early Literacy Screening Tool

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — January 11, 2010 —

Helping early childhood programs around the country ensure that all young children are prepared to be successful readers is high on the agenda of the education, services and technology company, Pearson, which today announced the launch of Get Ready to Read!-Revised (Get Ready to Read!-R), a powerful, practical, early literacy screening tool. Developed by Grover Whitehurst, Ph.D. and Christopher Lonigan, Ph.D. for the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) and now supported by norm-referenced standardized scores, this research-based screening tool will give early childhood educators and clinicians the information that they need to put young learners on the path to building a firm foundation in literacy skills.

Get Ready to Read!-R takes only 10-15 minutes per child to administer and is now designed for use with children ages 3-5 years. The screening tool’s 25 questions help identify what step, on a four-step continuum, a child has reached on the path to becoming a successful reader. The visual and auditory questions allow young learners to demonstrate their skills in print and book knowledge; phonological awareness; and phonics. The screening includes stimulus pictures included for both English and Spanish speaking children that come in a single presentation easel, designed to be durable under hard use in a preschool classroom. In addition, new items to the screening tool will help preschool educators and clinicians identify high-achieving children.

"A strong foundation in early literacy skills has long been shown to have a profound impact on a child's overall success in school and in life and that is even truer for children with learning disabilities," said James H. Wendorf, executive director, NCLD. "NCLD has made early identification an urgent priority in response to the staggering statistic that 75 percent of children with un-remediated learning difficulties in third grade will continue to struggle all the way through high school with more than 31 percent dropping out altogether."

He continued, "Get Ready to Read!-R is precisely the kind of tool that we need to identify students with learning difficulties at the earliest possible time in their lives and that is why NCLD endorses and promotes the use of this important tool with early learners."

The enhanced Get Ready to Read!-R also includes tools for helping students who need extra assistance developing literacy skills with skill building activities and resources and a wide selection of educational activities, including interactive video games, on NCLD’s early literacy Web site, http://www.GetReadytoRead.org.

"Early screening and, if necessary, intervention are the first steps in putting young learners on the road to becoming good readers," said Carol Watson, President, Clinical Assessment, Pearson. "Schools and programs around the country turn to Pearson every day for powerful screening, assessment and intervention tools, like Get Ready to Read!-R so that they can help all children build the strong literacy skills that are critical for success in school and in life."

About the National Center for Learning Disabilities

The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD), is a national non-profit organization that works to ensure the nation’s 15 million children, adolescents and adults with learning disabilities have every opportunity to succeed in school, work and life. NCLD has a particular interest in early literacy skills because of their importance to literacy development and ongoing school success. In developing Get Ready to Read!-R, NCLD’s goal is to incorporate early literacy screening and instructional activities into early childhood education, child care, and family support programs nationwide. Its vision is that all children are screened for early literacy skills and potential reading difficulties during the preschool years as routinely as they are screened for hearing and vision problems. For more information about the National Center for Learning Disabilities, visit their web site: http://www.LD.org.

About Pearson

Pearson (NYSE:PSO), the global leader in education and education technology, provides innovative print and digital education materials for preK through college, student information systems and learning management systems, teacher professional development, career certification programs, and testing and assessment products that set the standard for the industry. Pearson’s other primary businesses include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group. For more information about the Assessment & Information group of Pearson, visit http://www.pearsonassessments.com.

For more information, press only:

Adam Gaber, Pearson, 800-745-8469, adam.gaber@pearson.com