Dec 7, 2010 by Terri Zezula
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Success Story: Kenny Hilliard

Why wait for Superman?  Students across the country are making great academic gains with great teaching, rich content and outstanding educators.

Take a look at Patterson High School in St Mary Parish, Louisiana where Kenny Hilliard could barely read at the level of a second grader when he reached high school. After a few weeks of doing the Fast ForWord program at school, he reads at grade level and he understands what he reads. Once at risk of dropping out of high school, now Kenny is headed for Louisiana State University on a football scholarship. Kenny had great teachers, a rich curriculum and a community that supported his academic and athletic goals. Yet Kenny, like many other students across the country, needed an intervention to help build his cognitive skills of memory, attention, processing and sequencing – the skills necessary for reading and learning.

“What changed is that Kenny did a computer program called Fast ForWord,” said Patterson High School Principal, Rachael Wilson. “He is such a talented football player, and his talents can carry him far, but recruiters are looking for kids who have talent and good grades. The first two questions recruiters ask me are ‘What kind of kid is he?’ and ‘What kind of grades does he make?’ Thanks to the progress Kenny made in Fast ForWord, he does not need to rely on athletic talent alone.”

Kenny says he was a little nervous at first, but he decided to give Fast ForWord a try. It is a program that is proven to accelerate learning and increase reading proficiency in students from kindergarten through high school. The software consists of brain fitness exercises and actually improves how the brain learns.

“It worked,” said Wilson. “Within weeks, Kenny began to see a change in his ability to focus. Over time, his reading comprehension improved dramatically and that’s helped him in all subjects, and he has the GPA and ACT scores required for enrollment into a four-year university.”