Arkansas Includes Reading Horizons on ‘Approved Science of Reading Curriculum’ List

The state’s first-in-the-nation collection of K-6 programs points educators to literacy tools that are explicit, systematic, cumulative, and diagnostic

(Arkansas) July 23, 2020 — The Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education has included Reading Horizons, a multisensory curriculum used to rapidly increase reading skills, on its list of approved K-6 core curriculum programs that are supported by the science of reading.

The list is the first of its kind to lead public school districts and open-enrollment public charter schools to materials, resources, and curriculum programs that ensure quality reading education that is explicit, systematic, cumulative, and diagnostic. Out of the 46 programs that went through the two-part review process, only 26 qualified under these requirements.

“I’m very proud that in the state of Arkansas, our RISE initiative is encouraging everyone to understand the science of reading,” said Sandra Halley, school improvement specialist for Marion School District. “That was the first step. Now more districts can start looking for the phonics-based reading program that will work alongside the science of reading. Reading Horizons is the program we’ve selected and it has worked very well for us.”

The list was created in response to the Right to Read Act, amended by the Arkansas Legislature in 2019 to require “curriculum programs that are supported by the science of reading.” Reading Horizons Discovery incorporates an evidence-based intervention system that aligns with Structured Literacy and is grounded in the Orton-Gillingham methodology—two proven approaches to successfully teach struggling readers to read proficiently.

“We’ve spent the last 35 years using the science of reading as the bedrock of our curriculum,” Reading Horizons CEO Tyson Smith said. “We’re delighted to be recognized by Arkansas for our ability to meet students at their reading level and help them improve their reading skills one step at a time, and we sincerely hope that other states follow Arkansas in recommending reading resources to align specifically with the science of reading.”

Educators can find the full list of approved resources at the Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education. To learn more about Reading Horizons and how its programs are based in the science of reading, visit Reading

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, please visit

The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.

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