NEW YORK, February 5, 2014 – LightSail Education, a provider of K-12 digital literacy solutions, today announced an exclusive partnership with Baker & Taylor, the premier worldwide distributor of digital and print books and entertainment products. Now schools using the award-winning LightSail adaptive literacy platform will have access to Baker & Taylor’s robust KnowledgePoint content management solutions and their portfolio of hundreds of thousands of digital books. In addition, Baker & Taylor will become an important sales channel for LightSail, selling to the thousands of schools already using Baker & Taylor’s products and services. The partnership ushers in a new breed of educational technology: smart software supporting teachers and students paired with a library of quality digital books and a content management platform designed to help create passionate readers.
The LightSail platform provides students with personalized tablet-based libraries and embeds assessments and analytics in students’ texts, monitoring their Lexile measures, Common Core State Standards progress and reading habits. For teachers, it delivers real-time data along with tools designed to support best literacy instruction practices in classrooms.
“Our partnership with Baker & Taylor positions LightSail at the forefront of the digital reading sector,” said LightSail Education Founder & CEO Gideon Stein. “Access to the most comprehensive collection of critically-acclaimed texts will play a crucial role in helping schools address the national literacy crisis while ensuring students are prepared for the rigors of the Common Core and can read challenging texts anytime, anywhere. Additionally, it provides a highly cost effective way for schools to build sophisticated digital libraries where books are easily checked in and out, flow seamlessly from one classroom to the next, and never get lost or damaged.” Stein added, “Our unique partnership with Baker & Taylor will enable LightSail and KnowledgePoint to reach millions of students even faster.”
“We have seen a significant interest from schools to shift to an e-book library model from both an economic and flexibility standpoint,” said George Coe, CEO and President of Baker & Taylor. “After evaluating the LightSail technology and seeing the positive impact the digital literacy tool was having assisting teachers in the classroom, it was clear that this was a partnership that could help millions of students get immersed and thrive in reading.”
“LightSail has opened the floodgates, providing great literature and informational texts for our readers,” said Aracelis Castellano-Folkes, Principal of P.S. 165 in New York City, one of the 32 schools currently using LightSail. “With LightSail, teachers report higher student engagement in reading – and that translates to faster literacy growth.”
LightSail was named “Most Likely to Succeed” and “Educators’ Choice” by the Software and Information Industry Association, took top honors in the Gates Literacy Courseware Challenge and netted first place in the prestigious SXSW V2V edtech competition.
About Baker & Taylor:
Baker & Taylor, Inc. is the premier worldwide distributor of books, digital content and entertainment products. The company offers cutting-edge digital media services and innovative technology platforms to thousands of publishers, libraries, schools and retailers worldwide. Baker & Taylor also offers industry-leading customized library services and retail merchandising solutions. Charlotte, N.C.‑based Baker & Taylor is majority owned by Castle Harlan Partners IV, L.P., an institutional private equity fund managed by Castle Harlan, Inc., a leading private equity investment firm.
About LightSail Education:
LightSail is the adaptive reading platform that helps students, classrooms, and school districts exceed their literacy goals. LightSail students get access to personalized libraries filled with thousands of engaging, just-right texts to choose from. Our award-winning solution embeds in-text assessments that motivate students to increase the volume of their reading along with the difficulty of the texts they choose. LightSail teachers get real-time access to meaningful data about student reading behavior, comprehension, and growth so they can provide the necessary guidance to enhance learning and encourage a love of reading.
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