News From Our Clients

Achieve3000’s Saki Dodelson Honored as 2012 Private Company CEO of the Year

Company Founder Cited for Her Role in Building Online Education Leader LAKEWOOD, NJ – November 27, 2012 Saki Dodelson, co-founder, president and CEO ofAchieve3000®, has been named 2012 Private Company CEO of the Year by the New Jersey Technology Council (NJTC). Dodelson, who received the award at the council’s Executive Leadership Summit in late October, was recognized for her vision, leadership and ability to take Achieve3000 to new levels of growth. “The New Jersey Technology Council’s CEO of the Year Award acknowledges the important impact a strong, innovative leader can have on the growth of a technology company,” said Maxine Ballen, president and CEO of the NJTC. “The continuing success of Achieve3000 is directly attributable to the extraordinary vision and leadership of Saki Dodelson. We are delighted to be able to recognize her outstanding work with this award.” For more than two decades, Dodelson has been leveraging online technology to accelerate students’ reading levels dramatically. As the founder of Achieve3000, she has used differentiated instruction to change the way children learn and has already had an impact on more than 1 million students nationwide. As a result, her company is now recognized as an industry leader. Through her vision, Achieve3000 was a pioneer in the initiative to ensure that all students graduate from high school college- and career-ready, and the company’s programs are fully aligned with the rigorous, new Common Core State Standards. Achieve3000’s award-winning programs, KidBiz3000®, TeenBiz3000® and Empower3000®, have delivered double and even triple the expected reading gains in districts across the country, including New York City; Chicago; Washington, D.C.; Houston and Miami. “I am honored to have my work – and by extension, Achieve3000’s – recognized by the members of New Jersey’s vibrant and innovative technology community,” said Dodelson. “We look forward to collaborating with our colleagues throughout the state as we continue to grow this industry that is vital to the New Jersey economy.” Prior to starting Achieve3000, Dodelson served as business and finance manager with AT&T. In 1996, she founded a news service for students that grew to a circulation of millions by 1999. In addition to this honor from the NJTC, she is a recipient of the Entrepreneur of the Year from Ernst & Young/Microsoft, and has been named a “Hall of Fame” Entrepreneur by the New Jersey Business Journal and one of New Jersey’s Best 50 Women in Business by the New Jersey Business Journal. About Achieve3000 Achieve3000 is the leader in online differentiated instruction, serving more than 1 million students across the United States. The company’s web-based literacy solutions are proven to increase reading comprehension and fluency, vocabulary and writing proficiency for students in grades 2-12, and also for adult learners. Based on decades of scientific research, Achieve3000 solutions deliver engaging, nonfiction content that supports core curriculum, Response to Intervention, special education and other instructional models. KidBiz3000® (for grades 2-5), TeenBiz3000® (for grades 6-8), Empower3000™ (for grades 9-12) and Spark3000® (for adult learners) are aligned with Common Core State Standards for English language arts as well as individual state standards. Achieve3000 supports 21st century education initiatives across content areas and is raising student performance across the country. The company is based in Lakewood, N.J. Learn more about Achieve3000 online athttp://www.achieve3000.com or call 888-968-6822....

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Poptropica Pocketeer Collectibles Join Growing Line of Toys, Books and Games

Popular Virtual World for Kids Sees Explosive Growth as a Global Brand BOSTON, Mass. – November 20, 2012 With the kick-off of the holiday shopping season right around the corner, kids can now add four new Poptropica Pocketeer toys from Jazwares, Inc., to their gift list. Available at Toys “R” Us and select independent toy stores, these two-inch collectibles are based on kids’ all-time favorite Poptropica characters. They join a growing line of toys based on the popular virtual world for kids, which also includes three-inch playsets, six-inch action figures, and plush toys. Jumping off the computer screen and into kids’ pockets are Astro-Knight, Cowardly Lion, Hamburger and Dr. Hare. Each two-inch figure comes with a code that lets kids unlock an exclusive prize for their Poptropican on Poptropica.com. For example, with the Astro-Knight Pocketeer, kids get a redeemable code for a Mini Astro-Knight Toy, and with the Dr. Hare Pocketeer, they get a redeemable code for a Mini Dr. Hare Toy. “In just five years, almost 254 million kids have visited Poptropica to play exciting online adventures in a safe, secure environment,” said Jess M. Brallier, publisher of Poptropica. “As a result, Poptropica has exploded as a global brand that kids see in all types of familiar places, from the App Store to the toy store to the menu at their favorite family restaurant. Being a part of this evolution has been an exciting journey for all of us.” Launching in 2007 with just one Island, Poptropica today features 31 unique Island quests. The virtual world’s brand appears in toys, books, a newly launched game for the Nintendo DS game system and a Poptropica app that allows fans to learn more about the popular virtual world for kids anytime, anywhere on their iOS or Android devices. Plus, everyone’s favorite Poptropica characters have been featured twice on the kids’ menu at Applebee’s restaurants in the United States. Parents can buy Poptropica Memberships for fans who want perks such as Early Access to new Islands, unlimited Poptropica Store access and exclusive use of the site’s Costume Closet. Memberships are available in one-, three- or six-month increments. All Poptropica Islands are free to play, and each represents a unique theme and challenge. In October 2012, Poptropica’s 500 millionth character was created, and more than 60 million friend connections were made around the globe in Poptropica’s safe and secure social networking offering, Poptropica Friends. Players come from more than 130 different countries and have their web browsers set to more than 100 different languages, ranging from Spanish and Sanskrit to Vietnamese and Croatian. Kids can stay up to date on news about upcoming new Islands and other exciting developments in the world of Poptropica on the official blog at http://blog.poptropica.com/. About Poptropica (http://www.poptropica.com) Poptropica is a virtual world in which kids explore and play in complete safety. Every month, millions of kids from around the world are entertained and informed by Poptropica’s engaging quests, stories and games. Kids create a “Poptropican” character to travel the many Islands of Poptropica and use gaming literacy to enjoy a narrative that is often rooted in factual history. Problem-solving skills are honed as kids discover and solve mysteries unique to each Island. There are always new areas to explore in this ever-expanding world where kids can collect objects, read digital books and comics, watch movies and compete in head-to-head competition. Parents can always trust that their children are playing – and learning – in a safe online environment. Poptropica is published by Family Education Network, a part of Pearson, the education, services and technology company. Pearson’s other primary operations include the Financial Times...

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Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory Reopens With Launch of Poptropica’s 31st Island

New “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Island” Challenges Players to Save the Magical Confectionary Factory BOSTON, Mass. – November 14, 2012 Poptropica fans will enter the factory of the world’s most unusual candy maker with the launch of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Island.” Available tomorrow to Poptropica Members with Early Access, the popular virtual world for kids’ 31st Island, based on author Roald Dahl’s beloved story, takes players on a confectionary quest to save the famous factory. In addition to Early Access, Poptropica Members will have access to a bonus quest and special Member-only items. Non-members will have access to part of the Island before its public launch on Dec. 6, 2012. When players visit “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Island,” they discover that after years of silence, Willy Wonka’s magical chocolate factory is re-opening, and they have a Golden Ticket. However, a group of misbehaving kids threatens to destroy Wonka’s candy creations, and he needs Poptropica players to save the day. Players must untangle a confectionary conundrum that’s full of sweet treats and sticky situations. “Bringing this much-loved, delightful fantasy to Poptropica players is one more example of our ongoing commitment to sharing great stories with kids around the world in a safe, secure online environment,” said Jess M. Brallier, publisher of Poptropica. “Though the book ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ is nearly 50 years old, Roald Dahl’s story stands the test of time and takes a new twist for kids in this entertaining online adventure.” When Poptropica Members play the “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Island” bonus quest, they will learn that three of Wonka’s rivals have stolen his most secret recipes. They will have to take to the skies in the Great Glass Elevator to bring these villains down to earth. To help them face this challenge, they will get an additional Charlie and the Chocolate Factory gear pack, which includes an Oompa-Loompa costume, Oompa-Loompa Power and Everlasting Gobstopper item. The Oompa-Loompa costume is only available during Early Access. Parents can buy Poptropica Memberships for their kids in one-, three- or six-month increments. “We are delighted that Roald Dahl is joining forces with Poptropica. Roald Dahl is the world’s No. 1 storyteller, and ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ is one of his most beloved stories,” said Dominic Gregory from Dahl & Dahl Limited. “Poptropica’s ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Island’ will give fans a whole new way of exploring Willy Wonka’s wondrous factory…without ruining their appetites.” Named as one of TIME magazine’s Top 50 websites of 2011, Poptropica has been visited by more than 251 million kids worldwide since its launch in 2007. In October 2012, the site’s 500 millionth character was created, and more than 60 million friend connections were made around the globe in Poptropica’s safe and secure social networking offering, Poptropica Friends. Players come from more than 130 different countries and have their web browsers set to more than 100 different languages, ranging from Spanish and Sanskrit to Vietnamese and Croatian. All Poptropica Islands are free to play, and each represents a unique theme and challenge. Kids can stay up to date on news about upcoming new Islands and other exciting developments in the world of Poptropica on the official blog at http://blog.poptropica.com/. About Poptropica (http://www.poptropica.com) Poptropica is a virtual world in which kids explore and play in complete safety. Every month, millions of kids from around the world are entertained and informed by Poptropica’s engaging quests, stories and games. Kids create a “Poptropican” character to travel the many Islands of Poptropica and use gaming literacy to enjoy a narrative that is often rooted in factual history. Problem-solving...

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MCI (Making Connections Intervention) Wins 2012 Award of Excellence from “Tech & Learning” Magazine

New Blended Learning Intervention for Struggling Middle and High School Readers Saluted as Outstanding Technology Product Boston, Mass. – November 14, 2012 MCI (Making Connections® Intervention) from EPS, a division of School Specialty, is a winner in the 2012 “Tech & Learning” Awards of Excellence. The prestigious 30-year-old recognition program honors software, hardware and web products that break new ground, as well as those that have added significant enhancements to proven education tools. MCI is a blended learning solution that provides literacy intervention for struggling readers in middle and high school. Based on the proven explicit and direct comprehension instruction from the widely adopted print-only program, the new MCI integrates the best of teacher-led, face-to-face instruction with engaging, individualized online instruction to maximize the depth, intensity and effectiveness of the intervention. “Now as a blended learning solution, the long-trusted MCI offers teachers an engaging and flexible tool for helping struggling readers build the literacy skills requisite for success in school and in life,” said Rick Holden, President, EPS Literacy and Intervention, a division of School Specialty. “We are honored to have the new MCI recognized as one of the best ed-tech products of 2012.” MCI incorporates the most current research on adolescent literacy and online learning to meet a wide range of student needs. Woven through every comprehension lesson are multiple opportunities to build students’ vocabulary and fluency, as well as develop decoding and vocabulary skills, and writing abilities. The intervention solution is aligned with the tenants of Common Core in the areas of Reading, Writing, Language, Speaking and Listening and Foundational Skills. To read how MCI supports Common Core State Standards, go to eps.schoolspecialty.com/MCI. The three levels of MCI – AQUA, GOLD and CRIMSON – cover key skills and strategies to support middle and high school literacy, with readability up to three grades below level with plenty of support and scaffolding to assist struggling readers. MCI’s adaptive software ensures that students are reading texts that are challenging, but not frustrating, to help them build their skill levels. The components of the program include MCI Comprehension, MCI Word Study, MCI Writing and MCI Student Library, which provide all the necessary elements for an effective RTI intervention program for Tiers 2 and 3. MCI’s powerful online Management System automatically records student performance data from assessments and other online activities and provides teachers with a variety of reports for viewing, interpreting and using the data, allowing them to monitor progress, differentiate instruction and manage their RTI implementations. Other reports offer school administrators a tool for monitoring Adequate Yearly Progress goals and Student Gains. For more information, visit http://eps.schoolspecialty.com/MCI. About EPS Literacy and Intervention, a division of School Specialty EPS Literacy and Intervention provides K–12 blended-media solutions that build core skills and close the achievement gap in reading and math. With powerful instructional tools and high-quality materials, the company’s reading and math intervention solutions are proven to help struggling students. From universal screening to interventions, progress monitoring to data-driven decision-making, and professional development, EPS offers an integrated approach to effective teaching and learning. For more information, visit eps.schoolspecialty.com. About School Specialty, Inc. School Specialty is a leading education company that provides innovative and proprietary products, programs and services to help educators engage and inspire students of all ages and abilities to learn. The company designs, develops and provides pre-K-12 educators with the latest and very best curriculum, supplemental learning resources and school supplies. Working in collaboration with educators, School Specialty reaches beyond the scope of textbooks to help teachers, guidance counselors and school administrators ensure that every student reaches his or her full potential....

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Inspiration Maps for iPad Wins 2012 Award of Excellence From “Tech & Learning” Magazine

App That Turns iPad Into Knowledge Creation Tool Honored as Outstanding Education Technology Product PORTLAND, Ore. – November 12, 2012 Inspiration Maps™, the app that brings visual thinking and learning to iPad®, is the winner of a 2012 Award of Excellence from “Tech & Learning” magazine. The prestigious 30-year-old recognition program honors software, hardware and web products that break new ground, as well as those that have added significant enhancements to proven education tools. Launched by Inspiration Software in January 2012, Inspiration Maps allows all types of learners to take an active role in their learning. Rather than passively absorb information or play games, they construct diagrams and outlines that capture and organize their ideas, stimulate creativity and aid comprehension. The proven visual learning methodologies in Inspiration Maps help develop the thinking, literacy and writing skills that are required by the Common Core State Standards. “With Inspiration Maps, students become active learners who demonstrate their knowledge using iPad,” said Mona Westhaver, president and co-founder, Inspiration Software. “We are honored that ‘Tech & Learning’ has recognized the educational value of Inspiration Maps with this prestigious award.” Inspiration Maps is compatible with Inspiration Software’s flagship desktop software, Inspiration 9®, so students and teachers can work on either the iPad or a computer. To facilitate classroom integration, Inspiration Maps includes more than 25 templates in English and Spanish. To purchase Inspiration Maps, go to http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/inspiration-maps/id510173686?ls=1&mt=8. Educators may purchase in volume through Apple’s Education Volume Purchase Program. A free preview of Inspiration Maps, called Inspiration Maps Lite, is also available for download on the App Store. To learn more about Inspiration Maps, visit http://inspiration.com/ipad. About Inspiration Software, Inc. Recognized as the leader in visual thinking and learning, Inspiration Software, Inc.’s award-winning tools, Webspiration Classroom™, Webspiration PRO™, Inspiration, Inspiration Maps, Kidspiration® and InspireData®, are based on proven visual learning methodologies that help students think, learn and achieve. With the powerful combination of visual learning and technology, students in grades K-12 learn to clarify thoughts, organize and analyze information, integrate new knowledge and think critically. Founded 30 years ago by Donald Helfgott and Mona Westhaver, the company’s visual learning tools are used today by more than 25 million students and teachers worldwide....

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Poptropica Book Imprint Publishes Four New Titles

Books Based on Virtual World for Kids Feature Popular Storylines and Games BOSTON, Mass. – November 07, 2012 Poptropica, the popular virtual world for kids, continues to jump off the web and onto the printed page with the addition of four new Poptropica books for children. The new titles feature some of the most popular Poptropica storylines and games and join POPTROPICA: THE OFFICIAL GUIDE in the line of Poptropica books. “We’re very excited to expand Poptropica’s print line with four new books, available in November 2012,” said Jeff Kinney, Poptropica creator and author of the bestselling “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series. “When we develop an Island on Poptropica.com, we always start with the story and strive to tell the best interactive story possible. Our books allow us to tell stories in a different way that we think kids will find fresh and exciting.” Two of the latest Poptropica books expand the stories of some of the site’s most popular Islands. Illustrated novel SKULLDUGGERY ISLAND (Poptropica; Nov. 8, 2012; 9780448462004; $5.99; ages 5-8) is the riveting tale of a cruel pirate named Captain Crawfish who has been raiding the small port of Fort Ridley. The hero of the story embarks on a journey to find a powerful ship and skilled crew to help him defeat Captain Crawfish and recover a map that will lead the islanders of Fort Ridley back to their treasure. Kids can get a sneak peek and read a sample from at Funbrain.com. In the illustrated novel ASTRO-KNIGHTS ISLAND (Poptropica; Nov. 8, 2012; 9780448461991; $5.99; ages 6-8), the princess of the Kingdom of Arturus has been kidnapped by evil inventor Mordred and taken into space. The hero of the story must build his own spacecraft and travel to the stars on an intergalactic quest to rescue the princess and save the kingdom of Arturus. The other new Poptropica books feature fun story lines and great activities. PENCIL WARRIOR (Poptropica; Nov. 8, 2012; 9780448462301; $8.99; ages 6-8) is a full-color doodle book perfect for Poptropica fans and anyone who loves to draw. Fans of Poptropica will also love POPTROPICA MAD LIBS (Poptropica; Nov. 8. 2012; 9780843172331; $3.99; ages 8-12), which includes 21 hilarious and action-packed stories based on games and missions from the virtual world. Visit the site for a free printable Mad Lib! All Poptropica books are available from wherever books are sold. For more information, please visithttp://www.poptropica.com/books. “Unlike other virtual worlds for kids, Poptropica focuses on engaging kids in great stories, and does not just offer them games to play,” said Jess M. Brallier, publisher of Poptropica. “The enormous popularity of the site is a testament to the power of this strategy. It is exciting to see these great online adventures in Poptropica chapter books for kids.” Named as one of TIME magazine’s Top 50 websites of 2011, Poptropica has been visited by more than 250 million kids worldwide since its launch in 2007. In October 2012, the site’s 500 millionth character was created, and more than 60 million friend connections were made around the globe in Poptropica’s safe and secure social networking offering, Poptropica Friends. Players come from more than 130 different countries and have their web browsers set to more than 100 different languages, ranging from Spanish and Sanskrit to Vietnamese and Croatian. All Poptropica Islands are free to play, and each represents a unique theme and challenge. About Poptropica (http://www.poptropica.com) Poptropica is a virtual world in which kids explore and play in complete safety. Every month, millions of kids from around the world are entertained and informed by Poptropica’s engaging quests, stories and games. Kids create a...

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