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Superkids Reading Program Set to Become the Flagship Literacy Curriculum for Zaner-Bloser
COLUMBUS, Ohio (January 15, 2015) – Rowland Reading Foundation, of Madison, Wisconsin, today announced the acquisition of its Superkids Reading Program by Zaner-Bloser, an educational publisher providing curricula and digital resources in literacy, language arts, writing instruction and handwriting.
The Superkids program is a rigorous phonics-based literacy curriculum that integrates reading with writing, spelling and grammar for students in kindergarten through second grade. It features a cast of characters called the Superkids whose adventures are told in its books and online materials.
The program was written by Pleasant Rowland, creator of American Girl®, and developed by Rowland Reading Foundation, whose mission is to improve reading instruction in the primary grades. In addition to its Superkids curriculum, the Foundation provides classroom coaching and professional development for teachers and conducts research into effective reading instruction.
"Teaching children how to read and to love to read has been my personal passion and the focus of my career," said Ms. Rowland, chairman of Rowland Reading Foundation. "As I approached retirement, I wanted to find a good home for Superkids. I believe Zaner-Bloser is that good home, not only because of its long commitment to literacy for young children but, of greater importance, because the missions and values of our two organizations are so closely aligned."
"Superkids will become our flagship reading program," said Robert Page, president of Zaner-Bloser. "It fits our portfolio of literacy products and our focus on the primary grades where we know it is so critical for children to learn to read and write."
Zaner-Bloser is a wholly owned subsidiary of Highlights for Children Inc. and headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. "Pleasant Rowland chose Zaner-Bloser to continue her personal legacy and her foundation's commitment to early reading," said Kent Johnson, CEO of Highlights for Children, Inc. "We could not be more honored and excited to carry her work forward and to welcome the Superkids into our education portfolio."
GSV Advisors of Chicago acted as counsel to Rowland Reading Foundation in this transaction. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Zaner-Bloser will maintain an office in Madison, Wisconsin, where most Superkids employees are located. Barbara Johnson, president of Rowland Reading Foundation since its inception, intends to retire after a transition period.
Zaner-Bloser is an educational curricula and digital resources provider in language arts/literacy (writing, word study, reading, etc.) and 21st century learning. Our flexible, customizable solutions support educators in their mission to help students learn. We provide dynamic, appealing and effective educational programs and services to inspire all students to become lifelong learners and partner with educators to improve results in the classroom. With an ever-growing number of digital technologies and evolving research shaping the education landscape, Zaner-Bloser is committed to meeting schools’ needs today—and in the future.
About Rowland Reading Foundation
Since its inception in 2003, Rowland Reading Foundation’s mission has been to improve reading instruction in the primary grades with its Superkids reading and language arts curriculum. Pleasant Rowland, creator of the American Girl® collection of dolls and books, founded Rowland Reading Foundation. Before starting American Girl®, Ms. Rowland had a distinguished career as an author of early reading programs. In addition to Superkids, Rowland created the first academic program for kindergarten, Beginning to Read, Write, and Listen, still published today.