Betty Lewing has turned lives around by helping teenage students beat the odds, learn to read and become successful in school.
Today, Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, announced Ms. Lewing the winner of the first annual READ 180® Outstanding Educator Award, created to recognize the exceptional commitment of READ 180 teachers who bring reading to life and truly turn lives around.
A former elementary school teacher and former instructor at a state prison near Lufkin, TX, Ms. Lewing has become a one-woman dropout prevention program. Not only does she teach 9th- and 10th-graders at Lufkin High School to read, but she also makes sure that even her most at-risk students stay in school and out of prison – and that they go on to college.
She gives all her students her cell phone number—and express instructions to call if they need anything. She also picks students up at home and drives them to school and is often the first person they call when they get into trouble or lose their way. She was chosen as the READ 180 Outstanding Educator because of her faith in their possibility and her fight for their future.
Ms. Lewing says: “Many high school teachers have never been trained to teach reading… the patience it takes… you have to be so nurturing. And then teaching at the prison, I was there long enough to see that the number one challenge was a lack of ability to read. I have to do whatever it takes with these kids because I don’t want my kids dropping out and ending up in prison.”
“We are thrilled to honor Betty Lewing as our first READ 180 Outstanding Educator,” said Margery Mayer, President, Scholastic Education. “Her intense commitment to her students and her deep belief that all students – no matter the obstacles they face – can learn to read and succeed in school, make her special. We are proud she is our inaugural award winner and look forward to recognizing many more teachers in the future.”
Some former students on Ms. Lewing:
Dez: “Ms. Lewing – you can’t compare her to other teachers. No teachers go out of the way like she does. Without Ms. Lewing, I’d probably be in prison.”
Lindsey: “I hated school because I hated to read. I felt stupid. Ms. Lewing changed my life completely. Now I’m going to college. I want to be a teacher – that way I can make a difference in somebody’s life the way Ms. Lewing has in mine.”
For winning the READ 180 Outstanding Educator Award, Ms. Lewing will receive $2,000 and an engraved award. She will be recognized at the READ 180 National Summer Institute.
About Scholastic READ 180® Scholastic READ 180, a reading intervention program for older struggling readers, is based on scientifically proven principles, offering intensive intervention for students in grades 4 through 12 who are reading at least two years below proficient level. READ 180 offers intensive and individualized reading instruction for 90 minutes through data-driven technology, teacher-directed instruction in whole and small groups, and leveled reading materials that reflect students’ interests and age.
READ 180 is one of the most thoroughly researched and documented reading intervention programs available today. Currently in use in over 12,000 classrooms nationwide, READ 180 is the result of a collaborative effort between Vanderbilt University and the Orange County Public Schools in Florida. Response from numerous large-scale validation studies in Phoenix, AZ, Santa Rosa, FL, Los Angeles, CA, Des Moines, IA and elsewhere are unequivocal in their findings – implementation of READ 180 has resulted in solid gains in student reading scores.
More information is available at www.scholastic.com/read180
About Scholastic Education
Scholastic Education is a leader in the education marketplace, providing learning solutions for students through research-based technology products and multimedia supplemental instructional materials that support student achievement in grades pre-K through high school. Grounded in the most current scientific research, Scholastic Education develops technology products and services that include instruction, intervention, assessment, instruction, data management and professional development.
Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL) is the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books and a leader in educational technology. Scholastic creates quality educational and entertaining materials and products for use in school and at home, including children's books, magazines, technology-based products, teacher materials, television programming, film, videos and toys. The Company distributes its products and services through a variety of channels, including proprietary school-based book clubs, school-based book fairs, and school-based and direct-to-home continuity programs; retail stores, schools, libraries and television networks; and the Company's Internet site, www.scholastic.com