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Reading A-Z

The Reading A to Z program takes an established and scientifically proven method of teaching reading - GUIDED READING - and delivers it to you in a unique and up-to-date way.

GUIDED READING has achieved such great results in teaching children to read and improve fluency, comprehension and vocabulary that the publishers of the traditional basal reading programs are making guided reading an important part of their new programs.

The problem with GUIDED READING is that it's very expensive to implement. Teachers and parents use leveled readers or "little books" which are at the developmental reading level of the student. Many different leveled books are read before the student is ready to move up to the next, more difficult, level.

These 16 to 24 paged leveled readers cost about $3.50 a copy. A student may need to read ten books before moving on the the next level, so to progress from level A to level Z would mean books for a single student would cost $910. Add to this the cost of the benchmark books for testing at each level and the cost per student goes way over $1,000. Buying books for a class of 30 students would cost more than $30,000!

In 2001, two experts in the field got together to do something about the high cost of implementing a GUIDED READING program. Bob Holl was a Director at the Wright Group, the publishing company that pioneered guided reading in the United States with their Sunshine Series of leveled books. Bob Holl was responsible for developing product at the WRIGHT GROUP. Francis Morgan was the CEO of a successful design and production studio specializing in producing quality educational publications for the major U.S. educational publishers. Morgan's studio designed and produced many of the Sunshine books for the WRIGHT GROUP.

Holl used his expertise in the field of GUIDED READING together with his contacts with top authors and editors, and Morgan used his design and production expertise and his contacts with leading illustrators, designers and photographers to develop a new GUIDED READING program - READING A to Z.

However, it is not the high quality of the materials in this new program that is revolutionary, it is the method they use to deliver the books to teachers and parents. All materials in the program are downloadable from the Reading A to Z Web site. This means that, unlike traditional publishers, Reading A to Z has no cost for printing, warehousing, inventory control and shipping. These cost savings allow Reading A to Z to provide the materials in their guided reading program at a fraction of the cost of the $30,000 for a class, from traditional publishers.

Reading A to Z is a subscription program, which means that you are able to have access to all the material on their Web site for one low annual payment. At the time of writing (May 2009), the cost of an annual subscription for an individual is $84.95 . There are also reduced rates for schools and school districts.

Reading A to Z has more than 2,200 books on their site, which the subscriber downloads, prints, folds and staples to make individual books. When you factor in the cost of the subscription, paper and ink, instead of $30,000 per class, the Reading A to Z GUIDED READING PROGRAM costs about $400 for a class of 30 students!

But with Reading A to Z you don't just get the leveled readers, you get lesson plans and worksheets for each book, benchmark books for testing as well as running record forms and a host of other supporting materials. But there's even more, there are Spanish, French, and UK English versions of each leveled reader on the site. All these are available at no extra charge with your subscription.

But that's not all, besides the Guided Reading program there is a systematic PHONICS PROGRAM with decodable books and all support materials. And for complete beginning readers, there are ALPHABET BOOKS and other resources for teaching the alphabet. In fact, there is so much on the Reading A to Z Web site that it would take too much room to list it all here. Go the the Web site and take their tour to see all that a subscription gets you.

I would encourage you to sign up for a subscription as soon as possible. There is so much on the site and they add a huge amount every month, that I can't see them keeping the price so low for much longer. Usually companies wait until a new school new year before initiating a price increase, so the sooner the better. Also the company was sold to a large publisher, and large publishers usually don't like to give away bargains. I don't have any inside information on a price increase, but I think it would be wise to subscribe now, and at the current price, why not sign up for 3 years? It could save you a lot of money.

Here are some comments from TEACHERS,
taken from the Reading A to Z Web site:
I do guided reading in my classroom, and this Reading A-Z is the best thing since sliced bread. I have plenty of books at each level to use in my classroom. I really love the aa level for my lowest readers. It gives them the confidence that they are readers while they are still learning letters and sounds. Thank you for creating such a teacher-friendly and wonderful website!
Leslie Steele; First-Grade Teacher; Chicago Public Schools
I teach at a Title I school, many of my students do not have books at home they can read. We print out the Reading A-Z books and send them home. The parents are grateful for the books. We also use them for Christmas presents and end-of-the-year gifts.
Julie M. Foster; Speech/Language Pathologist; John Adams Elementary
Not only is this excellent material to use in the class with students, but also when the books go home children have stories they feel successful reading at home. It can be very difficult for parents to find material for readers who are reading at levels A through E, F, and G. I love your books. It makes such a difference for our readers.
Donna Gibbs; First-Grade Teacher
I absolutely love your site and materials. I teach a fifth-grade literacy class and have students reading at various levels from kindergarten to fifth grade. Reading A-Z is a resource that provides me with access to books at all levels. This is like gold in the literacy-at-risk environment, since I can teach main comprehension strategies and skills while focusing on specific genres for students at any level.
Kristie Clements; Long Beach Unified School District; Long Beach, California

These books are absolutely wonderful. I particularly like the quizzes at the end. I am so glad that you have a variety of fiction and non-fiction books to reach all levels of reading in my room, especially my higher-level readers. I can't wait until you have even more books. I have been a subscriber for several years, and the resources you have provided for my room are invaluable.
Mary Jo Sheets; Second-Grade Teacher; Lakeview School; Greenwood, South Carolina

Your new design and additions to your Web site are moving us forward in our instruction with kids. Your high-interest topics, variety of genre, and well-written books are capturing the interests of the students easily. It's obvious you and your staff are pioneering new instructional models that will no doubt move us forward into new instructional designs in our own classroom. Please continue to develop new and innovative interfaces. You are making a positive difference.
Michael Lambert; Hong Kong International School; Repulse Bay, Hong Kong
Thanks, for your incredible resource. I have convinced my principal, and have been trying to convince my superintendent (of the largest school division in our province), that your Web site is truly the greatest resource I have ever encountered.
Helen Coish; Third & Fourth-Grade Teacher; Glenelm School, Winnipeg, Canada
What a great Web site. It has helped so many of my special education students. When a student loses or misplaces a book, I can just print out another one and replace it. I even have extras on hand. So much value for what you charge. I have often recommended this Web site to colleagues and parents. Thanks for your efficient service.
Karen Campione; Primary Special Education Teacher; Rhodes School; River Grove, Illinois
I used your leveled books last year and saw tremendous growth, even with severely at-risk students. I have recommended your site to countless teachers. I firmly believe in your philosophy regarding your high-frequency word books, and I feel that reading teachers would benefit from them with their students.
Cherry Carl; Reading Specialist and University Instructor at the University of California; San Diego
I teach in the lowest income school in Dallas, Texas, with a 100 percent at-risk population of students. These kids need reading to escape their environmental challenges and to have a future. Most of my students arrive in my classroom with a pre-K knowledge of reading, despite being anywhere from 10 to 19 years old. You can only imagine how damaged their self esteem is. They really have taken a delight your products, and having a printable book that they can love, keep, and return to time and again is a real treasure. I have seen some amazing strides. Many other teachers in my school, my district and my other "teacher friends" are already hooked on your products because they are so helpful. If you ever sit and wonder if you're making a difference, think of us and know that you are.
Dr. Vickie Lewis; TAKS Program Coordinator; Rylie Academy.; Dallas, TX
I discovered your site last year, subscribed, and began using the leveled readers with my third-grade class. What an incredible resource! I am using the books to give the children practice in re-reading a text to promote fluency. They can hardly wait to get their new book each week. It has been a teacher's dream to have access to books on all of my kids' independent reading levels so that they can achieve success in gaining the fluency.
Deena Funk; Meridian, ID

My son was a struggling reader, and his school put him in a remedial reading class. At 6 years old, he told me he hated being there because it made him feel stupid. I decided to home-school him. After sending him to a tutor and trying other reading programs, I got your website address through a home-schooling support group. This product has been a godsend. He reads at his own pace, although I set goals for him to reach each new level. Sometimes that means he needs to read a book several times. Other books he flies through. I can pinpoint the areas that are causing him problems so we can focus on improving them. And with the benchmark books, I know if he's ready to move on. It really has given us the tools that my son needs to feel confident about reading.
Kym Byrne

Your site is a great idea and much needed around the world! Many thanks for all the hours of time and effort. Thanks, most of all, for making it so accessible by being affordable!
Cassandra Ricketts; Melbourne, Australia
As a mom of 10 kids, you can well imagine my search for a reading program that works. I have tried many different programs through the years. Then I found your site. My kids love being able to print off their own personal books (and they are easily replaced if destroyed or worn out!). Even my older children are enjoying using the higher-level readers. Thanks again for an online site that is not only easily used, but also well thought out and kid friendly!
Leslie Theurer; president of L.I.F.E. (Learning in Family Environments); Kansas City, MO
G'day from Australia. I have subscribed to the books, and I am impressed. My son (a reluctant, struggling reader who just completed Level G) enjoys the funny books (e.g., "I Bet I Can"). My daughter loves the books. She's at Level C and chooses to read them as bedtime stories to her dad instead of him reading to her!
Jeanette Goodman; Sydney, Australia
How pleased I am with the quality of materials your site offers! I am teaching my 6 year old, 3 year old and 1 year old at home, and we use books from your Web site daily. I also love the lesson plans and worksheets that go along with each book. I appreciate how the books are divided into levels and the ease with which we can evaluate our progress with the benchmark books. My boys look forward to each day as they learn new words and new skills, and read new stories.
Joan Zeberlein; Langhorne, PA
Your program has worked so well. I took out the subscription just after my daughter had started reading, and we were able to start at Level C. During a year of using your program, both reading and phonics, Camelia has read all the books and is now reading chapter books. I would like to thank your team for the wonderful program you have developed and for all the extra books and ideas that were added to the site. I would recommend it to anyone.
Jacqui Ackland; Great Barrier Island, New Zealand
And from PARENTS

I have started with the book "Go, Go, Go" and have printed the worksheets for it. My son is already learning very fast. The work papers have the same pictures as the book, and he only has to write the first letter, so he isn't so overwhelmed! I printed the alphabet cards with pictures onto card stock, and he loves to put them in order. They have helped me find out exactly where he needs help. I printed the high-frequency words that go with the book, and my son already recognizes them on signs and in other books. It seems he only needed enough to give him the confidence to get started. He has just realized that he can learn to read, and he is very excited.
Donna J. Capps; Bank Receptionist; Fairbanks, AK

I have a seven-year-old grandson with Down syndrome. I am constantly looking for things for him online. I was very excited to stumble upon your site. He was so excited about Go Animals Go and Get In. Most of the words in both books were words he knew, so he felt very smart. Thank you for helping Joey’s education. I can only imagine how many other kids you are helping.
Karen Ann Mantin; New Brunswick, Canada
I cannot tell you what a blessing your Web site and books have been to our fledgling bilingual program this year. I use both your Spanish and English texts with my students reading in English. My students read the books in English, and then I send both the English book and the Spanish book of the same title home with them for homework. The parents of my students who do not read English use the Spanish texts. This allows them a chance to connect with their child in the reading process, as they are able to discuss the texts and ask good deep comprehension questions about the story with their child. Your paralleled texts have allowed the parents of my students, many for the first time, to connect with their children during the reading process.
Christine A. Motes, MBE; First & Second Grade Bilingual Teacher; Houston Elementary School; Lancaster, Texas
There are many more testimonials on the Reading A to Z Web site.

If you are still not convinced to subscribe to Reading A to Z immediately, you can try out some of their books for free. They have made available a selection of their books for free download. Download some, print them, assemble them and see if your young readers like them.

You can also explore the site, check the lesson plans and see all that's available without subscribing. Try it out, you won't be sorry. $84.95 for 2,200 books plus tons of other material is the biggest bargain in educational publishing. And you can print as many copies as you like!


Teachers’ Choice 2006 Picks Reading A to Z
Reading A to Z has been selected as the 2006 Teachers' Choice Award winner by Learning Magazine. The winners were selected by teams of teachers using the products in classrooms for several months.

If you don't want to subscribe to Reading A to Z immediately, you can try out some of their books for free. They have made available a selection of their books for free download. Download some, print them, assemble them and see if your young readers like them.

You can also explore the site, check the lesson plans and see all that's available without subscribing. Try it out, you won't be sorry. $84.95 for 2,000 books plus tons of other material is the biggest bargain in educational resources. And you can print as many copies as you like!