A Solid Past
The roots of the Reading Horizons product, Reading Horizons Discovery,
are grounded in an intensive, explicit, systematic phonics program
crafted in the early 1970s by education professional Charlotte Lockhart. Ms. Lockhart,
a former elementary instructor and principal, created the original Discover Intensive
Phonics for Yourself curriculum in response to students’ poor reading performance
in her school’s reading programs. By tutoring students in her office daily while
techniques that incorporated multi-sensory, high-kinesthetic / verbal /
visual learning cues, Lockhart was able to teach her students quickly how sound
and letter relationships create words. Young students learned to read and spell
and lives were changed.
Reading Horizons, located in North Salt Lake, Utah, distributed Charlotte Lockhart’s
instructional manuals for over 20 years. In 1984, Reading Horizons created companion
software, which provided individualized instruction and accompanying
hands-on practice with Charlotte Lockhart’s product, for elementary
aged students. In 1987, however, the staff became aware of the vital need for a
sequential, basic reading program for adults. They applied for and were awarded
an SBIR (Small Business Innovative Research) grant from the federal Department of
Education to produce the Reading Horizons Discovery software
for non-reading adults; the result was Reading Horizons. Thousands of sites
and hundreds of thousands of older students have since reaped the benefits of the
development of the Reading Horizons program.
In January 2001, Reading Horizons purchased the manual copyrights from the Lockhart
family. Now, all materials used to teach Reading Horizons Discovery
(the direct instruction manuals and the computer courseware) are united under one
As new products and enhancements are released, the efficacy of upgraded materials
continues to help teachers present the principles of Reading Horizons Discovery more clearly and concisely. Upgrades and enhancements, based on
feedback from experienced field users, are applied every few years. Reading Horizons’
ever, evolving product line and methods continue to positively impact individuals
and the accountability issues of public education.
A Dynamic Present: Ongoing Teacher Training
The National Reading Panel (NRP) 2000 recognizes the significant and positive impact
that explicit, systematic, supplemental phonics instruction can have on a comprehensive
Many teachers face the dilemma of trying to find affordable, sound training in explicit,
systematic phonics methods that integrates with basal reading programs.
Reading Horizons offers this kind of training either at its business
office or at the requesting location. All trainers have undergone rigorous preparation
and also have had hands-on experience teaching Reading Horizons' program methods
to actual students.
Most trainers are field users spread among approximately 5,000 national sites in
a variety of institutions: public and private schools, corrections, literacy centers,
and counseling facilities. Literally hundreds of thousands of students
across the nation have learned to read using Reading Horizons Discovery
In addition to out-of-your-seat, hands-on instruction, participants are eligible
for state-required CEUs (Certificated Educational Units) upon completion of a Reading Horizons Discovery training.
Another recent Reading Horizons advancement is our
Online Workshop where teachers worldwide can reinforce
concepts taught in our on-site workshops.
A Promising Future: Combining High-Tech Tools and Traditional Methodologies
We at Reading Horizons believe we offer the best of both worlds: the efficacy and
autonomy of technology combined with tried-and-true direct instruction principles
Active, hands-on learning sessions are enhanced by the latest computer technology.
Reading Horizons software is available for both struggling and beginning-stage
readers. The elementary (K – 3) package assesses, assigns, reinforces,
remediates, tracks, and prescribes under the watchful guidance of a trained instructor.
Adult software versions ensure older students the autonomy they need. The software
is also an excellent tool for non-English speakers as they privately
listen to and vocalize phonemic elements of English.
Other technology includes an in-depth Web site with an
interactive community page for teachers. Here, program using professionals
from across the country can post questions and relate experiences, allowing for
collaboration among peers outside one’s locale.
The timing is now right for Reading Horizons / Reading Horizons Discovery,
and time presses us to not only make choices in compliance with national mandates
(NCLBA, 2001) but also to give struggling and new readers a chance to master an
attainable language when properly and skillfully taught.