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Mount Vernon Schools Use New Tool To Increase Literacy

Mount Vernon schools are using a program developed by Pearson Education to improve student literacy.
Mount Vernon schools are using a program developed by Pearson Education to improve student literacy. Photo Credit: Pearson Facebook page

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. -- Educators in Mount Vernon schools are using a tablet/Internet-based program to increase literacy levels and class participation.

Five Mount Vernon teachers of the fourth, seventh and ninth grades are using the iLit (Inspire Literacy) program, which was developed by Pearson Education as a digital reading intervention solution for students who are at least two grades below their level.

The no-cost efficacy study, which is targeted to grades four through10, is being made possible through a partnership with Pearson and the Lower Hudson Regional Information Center. It has been described by Mount Vernon administrators as “a blueprint for the district’s digital learning future.”

“Our teachers are so thrilled with it they are telling us, please don’t take it away,” said Deputy Superintendent of Schools Jeff Gorman, referring to the changes that instructors are already seeing in their students’ attitudes and work since the study was implemented in March.

About 120 iPads and other tablet devices are being used in the study. Students can access the program at home, either on their smartphones or on any computer with Internet access.

“The best thing about this core intervention program is that it gives my students a newfound independence and true ownership of their learning,” said Camille DiSalvo, one of the teachers using the program at the Graham Elementary/Middle School. The secure assessment data that teachers and administrators in Mount Vernon have been able to access so far indicates that the students are now in fact reading above the Lexile level for their particular grade.

“At the LHRIC we are excited that the Mount Vernon administrative team took the initiative to conduct this much needed efficacy study. It will serve as a model for other districts with struggling readers, “ said Madalyn Romano, coordinator of Instructional Technology at the LHRIC.

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