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Imagine Learning Values: Obsess over customers

  The Imagine Learning Values are showcased on a wall in the Imaginarium. At Imagine Learning, we believe in a central set of values that guide our decisions at every level. The first of these values is Obsess Over Customers. We believe providing solutions to our customers’ problems is the lifeblood of our business. And right at the core of this excellent customer service is our relationship with each partner. We are constantly identifying market problems so that we know exactly what kinds of solutions our customers will value most. We go above and beyond by creating a positive emotional experience for our customers. This sounds good and all, but what does this mean in the everyday hustle and bustle of Imagine Learning’s hardworking corporate team?
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A post-literate age?

Have you ever heard the phrase “post-literate age?” I personally had never heard the concept before reading Christopher Doyle’s article in Education Week. The idea in general, however, is not foreign to me. The discussion regarding society moving away from literacy to more simplified technological mediums is a very prevalent and controversial topic. In the article, Doyle focuses on how his students turn to books less and less. He says, “Books, long idealized as foundational shapers of intellect, no longer mold young people's minds. While continuing to tout their merits, educators marginalize books and have not come to grips with the book's declining role in society. Over the last few years, my high school students' facility for print culture has atrophied markedly.” To the older generation, this is a concern. We learned our skills and knowledge from textbooks. It was the focal point of our learning. Because it is how we are used to education, we are concerned when our younger generation seems to disregard those important tools.
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Imagine Learning schools in Washington receive ELA Award

Christensen Elementary is one of seven Imagine Learning schools to receive the Washington State Board of Education Language Acquisition Award. The Washington State Board of Education recently awarded seven Imagine Learning schools with the first-ever English Language Acquisition Award. The schools to receive the award are Abraham Lincoln Elementary, Sheridan Elementary, Northeast Elementary, Central Ave Elementary, Christensen Elementary, Elmhurst Elementary, and Cascadia Elementary. The board created the new award because they recognized a need for an English language learner (ELL) focus, and they wanted to recognize schools whose ELL students are making the greatest progress toward the goal of becoming proficient in English, which is a major factor for students becoming college-ready. Award winning schools were selected based on the assessment of ELL students using the Washington English Language Proficiency Assessment (WELPA). The top five percent of achieving schools were recognized for their achievement. Students in Washington schools speak 187 languages. And Washington is not alone—the English language learner (ELL) population is the fastest growing subgroup nationwide. “Language acquisition is an indicator of school success and deserves to be acknowledged,” explained Board Chair Dr. Kristina Mayer. “We want to shine the light on what is working so it can be replicated across the state. The board will work with OSPI and other partners to support award-winning schools in sharing their strategies and best practices.”
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Integrating technology in Kent, Washington

Dedicated leaders in Kent, Washington are working together to ensure students receive an education that prepares them to be successful in a global workforce. When students come to school in Kent, they don’t have to “power down.” Instead, they have access to technology throughout the school day. As part of their digital instruction program, several Kent schools use Imagine Learning to differentiate instruction for students, supporting English language learners, struggling readers, and early childhood learners. Kent School District Superintendent Dr. Edward Lee Vargas says with the support of government, civic, and religious leaders they have been able to move beyond a digital school system to a digital community. In addition to implementing digital learning in schools, Dr. Vargas and his dedicated team put computerized kiosks with broadband capacity out into the community, hoping to provide resources for students, parents, and community members alike. The kiosks are being installed in places where they can be easily accessed, like grocery stores and high-density housing. “It’s been a series of partnerships that have created the capacity to be able to have these programs come alive,” said Vargas. Education is a top priority for Washington legislators who support the tremendous educational efforts in Kent. House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan and Senator Joe Fain are dedicated to giving students the technological tools they need to be successful. “It’s really the key to helping them success in the 21st century,” said Sen. Fain. Watch the video below to see how leaders from Washington's political, technological, and educational sectors are working together to create a technology-based approach to learning in their schools—and their community. Kent School District—where technology is being maximized for school children & the community from Imagine Learning on Vimeo.
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Imagine Learning is Acquired by Weld North

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Imagine Learning is Acquired by Weld North Provo, UT – April 07, 2014 – Imagine Learning, a Utah-based language and literacy company, announced today that it has been acquired by Weld North Holdings LLC, an investment company led by former Kaplan, Inc CEO Jonathan Grayer. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Weld North believes Imagine Learning is poised for substantial growth in a vibrant and growing EdTech market. “Imagine Learning’s unique game-based solution engages children, makes it fun for them to learn and supports teachers in their pursuit of teaching English language and literacy skills to their students,” said Jonathan Grayer, Chairman and CEO of Weld North. “The company’s headquarters in Provo is situated in the midst of a rapidly expanding pool of excellent talent, and it has a long runway of growth ahead. We look forward to leveraging our expertise to facilitate that growth and positively impact the way children are learning in the classroom.” Imagine Learning will remain in Provo, Utah, and there will be no immediate management changes. Over the past decade, Imagine Learning has grown from a fledgling start-up—led by founder and former CEO Susan Preator—to a flourishing multi-million dollar company, contributing to the thriving technology-friendly hub of Utah County. Imagine Learning is in the process of expanding its workforce and recently secured an additional 26,000 square feet of office space at its current location in anticipation of continued growth. Joe Swenson, Imagine Learning CEO, said the acquisition is evidence of Imagine Learning’s strong position in the digital education sector. “We want to recognize the incredible efforts of our founders, all of our coworkers, and our board members, including those from Sorenson Capital. Through their dedication and hard work over the past 10 years, Imagine Learning has become one of the most recognized digital English language and literacy programs in the country for K–6 students,” said Swenson.
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NY Times Article: Former Kaplan Chief Assembling a Digital Learning Company

Here's a link to some exciting news about the future of Imagine Learning! External link: NY Times: Former Kaplan Chief Assembling a Digital Learning Company
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Bryant Elementary making news

Students at Bryant Elementary are among the most dedicated Imagine Learning users in the country. They recently received the Top 50 Award for top-notch usage and were featured on the Sioux City KTIV News. Struggling readers and English language learners are using the program to increase vocabulary and practice reading skills. The school is committed to ensuring that students use the program for at least 90 minutes each week. Teachers even allow kids to come before school to have extra time on the program, and the hard work is paying off. Teachers say test scores show that the kids are making great progress. Congratulations, Bryant Elementary! Watch the KTIV News story.
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2014 Limerick contest winners

This year, we were lucky to receive more limerick entries than ever before! Our judges were amazed at how many creative limericks were submitted. We would like to thank everyone who participated, and announce this year's winners. First place: Lorena Sanchez Prize: $25 Amazon gift card There once was a bilingual teacher Who had a unique and rare feature When homework was missing Her hair would start hissing A gorgon she was- what a creature! Second place: Emma, 5th Grade Prize: Booster bobblehead figurine In orchestra we all strum, and in choir we all hum, music at school, is totally cool just wait ’till the marching bands come! Third place: Stephanie, 2nd Grade Prize: Mike the Microphone talking plush toy There was a girl from the west she found a pretty bird in his nest with beautiful colored eyes it picks up food when he flies and she took it home like a guest. Honorable Mention: Geniene Delahunty Prize: Imagine Learning stickers and pencils There once was a school named Yealey Where learning was a priority– daily! Imagine Learning’s a hit Our kids don’t mind to sit As their English is growing greatly! Please join us next March for another rousing round of limerick writing!
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Happy Pi Day!

At Imagine Learning, we love to celebrate. And Pi Day is no exception! But being a language and literacy company, we left the math equations to those other experts. Here, we ate pie to our heart's content.
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Write a lucky limerick

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up quick. Grab a pen and write a limerick. Be a rhyming rockstar, you’re sure to go far, and a lucky winner we’ll pick. Want to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? You have something clever to say? Join in the fun, add in a pun, And encourage your friends to play. Try writing your own limerick. Write it down with a leaded stick. Make it divine, and submit it online. Your limerick we’re sure to pick. Join in the St. Patrick’s Day fun by entering our annual limerick writing contest. To help you along the way, we've created a fun little video about writing limericks, hosted by Nick from the Imagine Learning software. Nick teaches students how to write limericks step-by-step, and explains the process by sharing his own limericks. Teachers, get your students involved! This video is the perfect way to begin an engaging lesson plan on limerick writing. You can also watch the video on Vimeo. We hope you have fun trying your hand at poetry writing! Submit entries in the comments section below. We will award prizes to the top three limericks. Prize Pot-o-gold: 1st prize: a $25 Amazon gift card 2nd prize: a Booster bobblehead 3rd prize: a talking Mike the Microphone plush toy We’ll accept submissions through end-of-day Monday, March 17th. Special consideration will be given to limericks with an educational flavor, and also to student submissions. Check back often to see the entries—and the lucky winners. You’ll be green with envy. Good luck (o’ the Irish) to everyone! Nick's Limerick Video Lyrics: Hello! How are you? I’m Nick. Here to teach you a fun little trick. To have a good time when writing a rhyme try writing your own limerick! There are limericks of all different kinds. So how do you write one that shines? You’ll see that it’s cool if you follow the rule: a limerick is made of five lines. So listen close to this song. Lines one, two and five are all long. And in poems of this sort make lines three and four short and I promise you’ll never go wrong. You need to be sure and contrive to rhyme lines one, two, and five Then do it once more with lines three and four and your limerick surely will thrive! So let these pointers take hold And if you’ll write as you were told at the rainbow’s end you’ll find there my friend your own limerick pot o’ gold!
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