Dowell Elementary Student Recognized with Prestigious National Education Award

Global learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) named Dowell Elementary School third grader Layla Hummings as one of the 15 recipients of the 2017 180 Student Awards, which honors students for their significant math and literacy gains using intensive intervention programs.

Layla learned she won the national award during the school’s grade level awards ceremony May 18.

With the support of their dedicated teachers, the award winners like Layla made significant gains in their reading and math achievement using READ 180, MATH 180 and System 44, blended learning intervention programs that use adaptive technology to personalize student instruction.

Layla is one of only three System 44 Award winners and the only elementary student to win for System 44 this year. When Layla joined her System 44 class, she was a reluctant reader. Her difficulties with reading and comprehension affected her confidence and caused her to retreat. However, after just nine months with System 44, Layla’s reading Lexile increased by 475 points. Lexile is a scientific approach to measuring both a reader’s skill level and the complexity of the text. She is now excited about reading and even asks to spend her recess period indoors with a book. Her confidence has returned, and she regularly reads to her siblings and assists students with reading and classwork. Layla hopes to become a teacher one day.

As an award winner, Layla received a $500 cash prize for furthering her education. Her nominator, Dowell Elementary Reading Interventionist Tamela Isley, will receive Houghton Mifflin Harcourt educational materials for her school.

This marks the second consecutive year that a Cobb student has been named a 180 Student Award winner. LaBelle Elementary School student Jocelyn Contreras was one of fifteen students to win the award in 2016.

Now in the eleventh year, the 180 Student Awards honor young learners who have overcome personal and academic challenges, such as learning disabilities, heath issues or language barriers, to achieve success in the classroom, and ultimately pave the way to college and career readiness.

“We are honored to recognize the inspiring 2017 180 Student Award winners, who have made it their mission to overcome obstacles and become passionate and thriving learners,” said Nicole Foster, Vice President, Intervention Solutions at HMH. “We applaud each student for their perseverance, as well as their educators for their commitment to ensuring their students succeed in school and life.”

An HMH committee carefully selected each award winner based on several factors, including teacher recommendations, student statements and data demonstrating reading or math growth according to the Lexile™ or Quantile™ framework.