Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Joins The Bookshelf Project to Revitalize Urban School Districts with Innovative Solution

BOSTON — Global education leader Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) today announced its involvement with The Bookshelf Project, an initiative to revolutionize education in Ohio by introducing students to proven content and innovative learning technologies. The Project, focused primarily in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD), brings together highly renowned and committed partners in the public, private, and non-profit sectors to impact learning for 21st-century students.  

This pilot project will provide Barnes & Noble NOOK Color™ e-readers for students, teachers and administrators in two Slavic Village-area schools: Washington Park High School and grades 6–8 at Mound K–8 School. Each NOOK will be loaded with the latest groundbreaking content from HMH.
“Innovation in education can only be successful if we get the innovation into the hands of students,” said Linda Zecher, CEO of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. “The Bookshelf Project motivates and captivates students where they are, and HMH is thrilled to be a part of such a worthwhile cause. By putting our leading programs into the hands of students, while utilizing technologies that they are comfortable with, we stand to make a greater impact.”
In an age when nearly half of students in the nation’s largest urban areas fail to graduate high school and only 15 percent of high school freshmen will graduate college, The Bookshelf Project is focused on revitalizing educational initiatives in these areas. Since 90 percent of jobs in the fastest growing high technology fields, and two out of three jobs overall, require an education beyond high school, it has never been more critical to the continued success of the country that we ensure all students have access to the best educational materials and technology.
The Bookshelf Project is unique, as it seeks to reach students in a manner most appealing to them.  This district-wide model project recognizes that 21st-century students, especially in grades 6–12, relentlessly consume great quantities of information through technology. The Wi-Fi-enabled NOOK e-reader allows gives students access to thousands of pages worth of information without bringing a single book home. The e-reader includes a built-in touch-word dictionary and encyclopedia, and access to hundreds of CMSD-created and third-party online video tutorials, outside book assignments and even the ability to create electronic notes that cannot be lost or stolen. 
The Bookshelf Project not only benefits students, but teachers, administrators and parents as well. Like their students, teachers will be able to obtain professional development both inside and outside the school day, with access to textbooks, online video tutorials, and outside book assignments. To prepare the district and its teachers and administration for the project, HMH is providing extensive professional development and training. For all its educational improvements, the Bookshelf Project also reflects economic reality by significantly lowering existing educational costs for Cleveland, Ohio, and CMSD. The public/private partnerships have become a key to this success.
“As we close the achievement and technology gap, we welcome and fully expect students will engage in an active technology-based collaboration with their teachers,” said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. “As a result, all students will become globally competitive readers, writers, and achievers.”
The Bookshelf Project is an expanding partnership currently comprised of HMH and several other partners: Frank G. Jackson, Mayor of the City of Cleveland; Eric Gordon, Chief Executive Officer of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District; Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, U.S. House of Representatives, Kurt Karakul, President, Third Federal Foundation; Barbara R. Snyder, President, Case Western Reserve University; Michael Walker, Executive Director, Partnership for a Safer Cleveland; Steve M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio; and Barnes and Noble.

About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

With education products and services used by 57 million students throughout all 50 U.S. states and 120 countries, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is a global education and learning company. The world’s largest provider of materials for pre-K–12 learning, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is leading the way with innovative solutions and approaches to the challenges facing education today. Through curricula excellence coupled with technology innovations and professional services, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt collaborates with school districts, administrators, teachers, parents and students, providing interactive, results-driven learning solutions. Its Educational Consulting Services group works to increase student achievement in underperforming schools by developing, implementing and supporting education transformation through sustained district partnerships.  With origins dating back to 1832, the Company also publishes an extensive line of reference works and award-winning literature for adults and young readers. For more information, visit www.hmhco.com.