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Three Students Recognized for Academic Achievement and Reading Mastery

Three Students Recognized For Reading Mastery Thumb

Congratulations to these three 2017 180 Student Awards System 44 winners being honored by their schools and by HMH for their outstanding academic achievement and growth in reading. With the help of dedicated teachers and their hard work in System 44, the students celebrated here have become confident, successful learners who are inspiring those around them and reaching for exciting college and career goals.


Student: Layla Hummings
School: Dowell Elementary School, Marietta, GA
Grade: 3
Teacher: Tamela Isley
Nominated for: System 44

How System 44 has made a difference:
“In the beginning it was hard to read and I didn’t like it, but the software helped me sound out words and I could read better. The more I read the more I liked it. Sometimes I read to my little brother and sisters to help my mom do what she needs to do.”

What her teacher says:
“Layla was a reluctant reader, but from day one she learned that System 44 allowed her a safe place to take chances and soar. Success fueled her desire to work harder—she is one of the hardest working students I have ever had in my program. She is continually assisting other students with reading and classwork. Her confidence level has increased dramatically and it shows in every aspect—social, emotional, and academic.

Layla’s goals for the future:
“When I grow up I want to be a teacher. That is why I’m working hard to be a better reader. Being able to read can help me do math too.”


Student: Kaitlyn Llanez
School: Spc. Rafael Hernando III Middle School, El Paso, TX
Teacher: Brenda Rios
Grade: 6
Nominated for: System 44

How System 44 has made a difference:
“Ever since I entered the READ 180 class and started to use System 44, I have become a better speller and have enjoyed reading all my System 44 books. I get to understand what my Lexile® is and I can pick out a book that I actually understand and enjoy…. Being in the READ 180 program has helped me in other classes because now I understand how to read a question and I know what they are asking me. I am passing my other classes with A and B averages.”

What her teacher says:
“As her READ 180 teacher, I witnessed Kaitlyn’s [health challenges and] the educational obstacles resulting from some absences at the start of middle school. Despite all this, she persevered and returned to school prepared to work hard and meet her goals. This young lady is the face of determination. She faces [her challenges] with a fearlessness that leaves a person wondering if behind those shy, brown eyes and endearingly humble smile exists a real-life superhero in disguise….She is now mentoring a fellow schoolmate who, like her, is experiencing health issues. Kaitlyn was chosen as one of the elite group of READ 180 students that get to read to the special needs children at her campus.”

Goals for the future:
“My future goal is to be a pediatric nurse for cancer patients. Being strong in reading will help me as I go to college to learn how to be a nurse.”


Student: Lance Sigmon
School: Clover Middle School, Clover, SC
Teacher: Pauline Childs
Grade: 7
Nominated for: System 44

How System 44 has made a difference:
“I did not like to read before because it was very hard for me. Now I can read and understand words that I never knew before. I am making better grades in my other classes since I am able to read more on my own. I love to read books about the things I think are interesting like hunting, fishing, animals and the outdoors. I get excited about reading now.”

What his teacher says:
“Lance struggled with learning his phonetic sounds and read significantly below grade level. He is a bright and curious student. He is the first student that I have ever met who wants to be a game warden. Lance is able to explain to me how you become a game warden and why he wants to improve his reading so he can go to college and.”

Lance’s goals for the future:
“I am planning to go to college because I want to be a game warden some day. Being able to read has helped me feel better about my future. I know now I can do anything I want to do even if it’s hard.”

Read the full story on the 2017 Student 180 Awards.

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