My Why | Bridging Passions: The Perfect Blend of Literacy and Technology

by Kristi Knight, CMO | Oct 19, 2023

Kristi Knight, Chief Marketing OfficerAs I embark on this new phase of my professional journey, I find myself reflecting on the path that has led me to Reading Horizons. In early October, I had the privilege of attending the company’s onboarding sessions alongside fellow newcomers. One remarkable aspect of this week was the opportunity to hear from various employees about their “why”—why Reading Horizons?

For some, the answer lies in personal experiences with loved ones facing reading challenges. Others were former educators who intimately understood the hurdles in literacy education. Then, there were those like me seeking an opportunity to apply their skills and expertise in an impact-driven environment. The timing is critical because the issue of illiteracy in the United States is growing every day. At Reading Horizons, our goal is measured on impact—8 million students using our method by the end of 2023.

But why is Reading Horizons my choice for impact? The answer lies in the powerful convergence of two of my deepest passions: literacy and technology. My lifelong love for reading and my professional background in technology have brought me to a point where these seemingly distinct realms harmoniously merge.

A Passion for Reading

From my earliest memories, I can vividly recall the comforting timbre of my father’s voice as he read me bedtime stories. Those moments weren’t just about recounting adventures but about unlocking the doors to a universe brimming with imagination and knowledge. These experiences instilled in me a profound appreciation for the written word, igniting a lifelong love for reading—a love I’ve endeavored to pass on to my children and grandchildren.

For me, literacy transcends mere skill; it’s a transformative key that unlocks boundless opportunities. The statistics are alarming: 64 percent of students nationwide are not reading proficiently by the end of third grade, and even more troubling, 75 percent of students will never catch up. Teaching a child to read isn’t just about words on paper; it’s about empowering them to explore uncharted territories, grasp intricate concepts, and express themselves with unwavering confidence. This belief has shaped my personal life and now serves as the foundation for my professional journey’s next chapter.

Professional Experience in Technology

In the dynamic world of technology, I’ve had the privilege of engaging with groundbreaking solutions and innovations. Technology possesses the power to revolutionize industries, and education is no exception. As I immersed myself in the tech landscape, it became evident that it held immense potential for reshaping the way we teach and learn, particularly in the realm of literacy. All while simultaneously understanding and valuing the role of the educator, and empowering them with a scientifically proven yet elegantly simple method to help their students at all levels learn to read.

The Perfect Blend

What struck me most was the remarkable synergy between my fervor for literacy and my proficiency in technology. It became undeniable that the fusion of scientifically sound methods, such as explicit phonics instruction, with the utilization of technology could be a game-changer in education.

Explicit phonics instruction, a well-established, evidence-based approach to teaching reading, furnishes students with a solid foundation in phonemic awareness and phonetic skills. This foundation empowers them to decode words with unwavering confidence. However, the modern learner thrives on engagement and interactivity, where technology comes to the forefront.

Through technology, we can not only equip educators with tools that enhance the efficiency and efficacy of instruction but also captivate learners in instructive and enjoyable ways. Interactive applications, digital reading materials, and personalized learning platforms complement traditional teaching methods, making the journey of learning to read and teaching students to read a thrilling adventure.

The perfect blend is where scientifically grounded literacy instruction meets the digital age. It’s about harnessing technology to elevate the teaching experience, personalize learning, and offer instantaneous feedback to both students and educators. This approach not only aids struggling readers but also challenges advanced ones, ensuring each learner receives the tailored support they require.

Conclusion

As I embark on this new chapter with Reading Horizons, I am genuinely thrilled to be part of a team that shares my fervor for literacy and enthusiasm for the potential of technology in education. Together, we are dedicated to eradicating illiteracy by harnessing the power of scientifically proven methods and innovative technology.

This less-traveled road has brought me to a juncture where my love for reading converges seamlessly with my technology expertise. It’s a juncture where we can genuinely make a profound impact on the lives of learners and educators alike. The future of literacy education is brilliantly illuminated, and I couldn’t be more excited to play a role in it.

Here’s to the fusion of passions and creating a brighter future through the perfect blend of literacy and technology.

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