Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Montgomery Public Schools Partner to Bolster Early Literacy with Implementation of AI-Powered Digital Reading Assistant

Amira Learning™ empowers educators and students at Brewbaker Primary School with literacy practice virtually and in-person

Montgomery, Ala.—Nov. 11, 2020—Montgomery Public Schools has partnered with learning technology company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to implement Amira Learning™, the first intelligent reading assistant that listens to, assesses and tutors learners to bolster early literacy for its students. Amira’s state of the art speech recognition and enhanced AI software offers 1:1 reading practice for young learners and administers both an oral reading fluency assessment and a dyslexia screener.

Launching in Montgomery’s Brewbaker Primary School (BPS), which serves the largest elementary population in Montgomery County, Amira will provide teachers with a high-quality 1:1 reading instruction, practice and tutoring solution as it seeks to build the foundational literacy skills of its 600+ diverse students and deliver marked improvement in reading foundations among English Language Learners. Amira, which can be utilized in both virtual and face-to-face learning environments, will help BPS keep students engaged and on track and safe as it shifts to a hybrid learning model in response to of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“What excites me most about Amira is that it allows us to ensure that our students' needs are being met on micro-intervention levels,” says BPS Principal Jaclyn Brown Wright. “This level of intense intervention is needed now more than ever since students have developed gaps related to sustained breaks in formal education due to the pandemic. I want my students to have the best 1:1 intervention and support, but it is important that our team of teachers remain safe as well. As a school community, BPS is committed to or mission of ‘making AMAZING happen for kids,’ and we are absolutely thrilled to partner with HMH and Amira.”

“Strengthening our public school system is at the core of our mission to create more opportunity and prosperity for everyone in Montgomery,” says Montgomery Mayor Steven L. Reed. “We are committed to investing in innovative programs and solutions that will turn around educational outcomes for our students, and we look forward to seeing how Amira can help all students, no matter their background, become strong, confident readers.”

Whether learning in-person or remotely, Amira leverages cutting-edge technology to support reading mastery. By automating scoring and reporting of fluency assessments and creating additional opportunities for virtual tutoring and reading practice, Amira offers educators time back to focus on personalized coaching and skill building.

“HMH is focused on delivering cutting-edge digital solutions that empower educators with actionable insights and simple integration across their teaching and learning ecosystems,” says Matthew Mugo Fields, General Manager, Supplemental and Intervention Solutions at HMH. “We are inspired by Brewbaker’s commitment to improve foundational literacy for its students while also offering extra support as the community adjusts to a hybrid learning environment. Amira will enable teachers at Brewbaker to reclaim and dedicate their valuable time to connecting with and supporting their students in becoming confident readers.”

Amira Learning is the culmination of 20+ years of reading research and applied reading science from leading universities and researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, Johns Hopkins University, and University of Texas Health Sciences. Evidence supporting Amira’s effectiveness includes more than 100 published research papers and is considered “gold standard.”

About Montgomery Public Schools

Montgomery Public Schools (MPS) is a school district with 53 schools. MPS is guided by a student-first philosophy. Our mission is to provide safe and caring communities where teachers teach and students learn at higher levels. MPS has a variety of academic programs and services to meet the diverse needs and interests of our students. We offer traditional schools with a full range of curriculum complemented by cultural arts, music, foreign languages, technology, career technical education and athletic programs.

About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (NASDAQ: HMHC) is a learning company committed to delivering connected solutions that engage learners, empower educators and improve student outcomes. As a leading provider of K–12 core curriculum, supplemental and intervention solutions and professional learning services, HMH partners with educators and school districts to uncover solutions that unlock students' potential and extend teachers' capabilities. HMH serves more than 50 million students and 3 million educators in 150 countries, while its award-winning children's books, novels, non-fiction, and reference titles are enjoyed by readers throughout the world. For more information, visit www.hmhco.com.

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About Amira Learning

The team at Amira Learning has over 30 years of experience in creating widely adopted assessment instruments. Amira is next-generation software for every educator charged with decision making around early literacy. Additionally, Amira Practice provides 1:1 reading tutoring for emerging readers both in class and virtually. The software, powered by artificial intelligence is developed in conjunction with researchers from leading universities. To learn more about Amira, visit www.amiralearning.com.


Leah Riviere

Director, Communications

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt