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Marion School District receives Lockhart Literacy Education award

Reading Horizon honors the district for its substantially increased achievement rate among young, impassioned readers

Reading Horizon honors the district for its substantially increased achievement rate among young, impassioned readers


Reading Horizon honors the district for its substantially increased achievement rate among young, impassioned readers


The Marion School District has long held the need to emphasize literacy as one of the pillars of its educational focus. Those efforts recently earned the district recogntion via the receipt of a very prestigious honor.

Last Thursday, Reading Horizons, a multisensory curriculum used to rapidly increase reading skills, presented the Charlotte F. Lockhart Award for Excellence in Literacy Education to the Marion School District.

Since implementing Reading Horizons Discovery for all K–3 students and Reading Horizons Elevate for students who need additional support in grades 4–6 three years ago, this socioeconomically challenged district just northwest of Memphis, Tennessee, has seen its student achievement rate undergo a remarkable change.

“We’ve determined reading to be our top priority here in Marion,” said Marion School District’s school improvement specialist Sandra Halley. “Many of our students have come from difficult situations where education and literacy haven’t been a priority. We are committed to turning that around and fostering love for reading in every single student. Our staff is dedicated to this goal.”

To achieve its literacy goals, Marion School District reserves blocks of time considered “sacred reading time.” Educators have devoted many of their resources to ensuring that every student has quality reading instruction. Marion has created critical reading classes that allow older students to build and strengthen skills they may have missed at an earlier age. The teachers’ passion and vigor when working with the program has equipped them to lay the foundation necessary for Marion’s reading efforts to succeed.

“Marion’s staff have been a huge part of how amazing this district has become,”


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Reading Horizons CEO Tyson Smith said. “Marion School District doesn’t just say they’re going to improve; they put their goals into action, and I’m so glad to help them on their journey and recognize the impressive progress they’ve made.”

Since Marion’s new literacy program was introduced three years ago, students’ success, interest in reading, and belief in themselves have soared, according to Halley.

The Charlotte Lockhart award was created to embody the characteristics and core values of its namesake, Charlotte F. Lockhart. Nicknamed the “Biphonic Woman,” she was an exemplary educator and role model with a passion for teaching the world to read. The Orton-Gillingham-based method that Lockhart created is now the foundation of the entire Reading Horizons system. To honor her legacy, Reading Horizons grants the award to institutions and individuals who best exemplify the excellence in literacy education that she embodied and embraced.

To learn more about Reading Horizons and how they help districts form a literacy plan, visit Reading

About Reading Horizons For more than 35 years, Reading Horizons has been dedicated to perfecting a reading method that has proven successful for beginning readers, struggling readers, and students learning English. Reading Horizons products are research-based and use a multisensory system that provides explicit, systematic, and sequential decoding instruction. For more information, pleasevisitReading

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