Last week in this space, HMH honored six teachers with 180 Educator Awards for their dedication to helping struggling students excel. Today we begin recognizing 15 students who were nominated by their teachers for making tremendous gains in reading and math with the support of the READ 180, MATH 180, and System 44
Below we are pleased to introduce nine exceptional students from the READ 180 program who have persevered in overcoming challenges, become leaders in and out of their classrooms, and made impressive growth in their reading abilities and academic courses.
Each winner will receive a cash prize, and the student's school district will receive HMH educational materials.
Wyatt Angeli, State College Area School District, Port Matilda, Pennsylvania
Grade 5, READ 180, Stage A
According to his READ 180 teacher, Mrs. Ellen Cannizzaro, “Wyatt is truly an exceptional child who has shown a determination that I rarely see in children—every single day that I have worked with him. He pushes hard each day to be a better reader.” This strong work ethic has had an impact on other students in his class, who can be heard saying, ‘I will try to be like Wyatt today.’ “He has a positive influence on all his peers and is truly the delight of all his teachers,” adds Mrs. Cannizzaro.
Wyatt graduated from System 44 into the READ 180 program and he saw his Lexile® score grow by 542 points! “Since I’ve been in READ 180, I’ve increased my vocabulary and had more practice reading, so now I can read these challenging books,” he says.
And speaking of challenge, Wyatt says, “in the future I want to work as a scientist and maybe become an archeologist, paleontologist, or geologist.”
“Wyatt’s struggle with reading has made it difficult in other subjects,” says Mrs. Cannizzaro, “But now his other teachers report that he is knocking it out of the park!”
And parents report that Wyatt has become ‘a reading machine’ at home—a habit that is sure to serve him well in his future goals!
Natalie Shyanne Snipes, Abington School District, Pennsylvania
Grade 6, READ 180, Stage A
Sixth grade student Natalie Shyanne Snipes was nominated for the 180 Student Award for “her dedication to her own learning, passion for leadership among her peers, and determination to consistently achieve better results,” says her teacher, Maria Vaccaro.
That's a long way from the student who started the READ 180 program not believing in herself, struggling to write a complete paragraph or identify a book she wanted to read. These days, she doesn’t want to miss a day of school because she thoroughly enjoys reading. In just 18 months, she gained 435 Lexile® points, to put her on grade level. “Natalie’s newfound confidence and love of reading have made her a leader in the classroom,” according to her sixth grade teacher, Mary Elizabeth Klepper. “She helps others, takes pride in her work, and is eager to continually improve.” She not only completes her homework each day—she asks for extra homework to challenge herself. Now, in talking about course selection for seventh grade, she is determined to take honors courses. And in another show of confidence, she recently sang in a talent show. “With all the troubles I had before starting READ 180,” Natalie says, “I feel accomplished. I’m more energetic in reading.” Natalie’s dream is to go to college and become a teacher herself. “I want to help students achieve as well as I have.” And according to Ms. Vaccaro, Natalie has also inspired her “to become a better educator and support students to achieve their fullest potential.”