National Geographic Learning Transforms the K-5 Reading Market with Reach for Reading; a Common Core Reading Program that Helps Students Learn to Read, While Reading to Learn

Monterey, CA – December 11, 2012 – National Geographic Learning (NGL), part of Cengage Learning and a provider of quality educational materials for the PreK‐12, higher education, adult education and ELT markets, today announced the availability of Reach for Reading, a new, comprehensive K-5 Common Core reading program. This innovative program features authentic, multicultural literature paired with exclusive content from National Geographic and real-world accounts from the National Geographic Explorers. Reach for Reading was constructed by a team of industry-leading authors, including Nancy Frey, Patricia Edwards and Deborah Short, among others.

The program was built around Common Core Standards, which were implemented as a way to provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students across the country are expected to learn and were designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that young people need for success in college and careers. Reach for Reading goes above and beyond simple compliance of the standards and thoroughly applies the shifts of the Common Core to the program. It is built on three basic principles that will help each classroom achieve reading success. These principles include:

  • Common Core State Standards – The implementation of Common Core Standards requires a shift in teaching practices to engage students. Reach for Reading addresses these necessary shifts by providing more informational text; shared responsibility for literacy across content areas; an emphasis on academic language and vocabulary; increased text complexity; text-dependent questions; and argumentation and text-based evidence.
  • National Geographic Content – In addition to the National Geographic informational texts and the extensive research conducted by National Geographic explorers included in this program, students will also have access to exclusive National Geographic videos and a complete digital library with images from National Geographic. These world-renowned features from National Geographic will keep students engaged and interested in the material.
  • Content-based Instruction – Each unit within Reach for Reading is based on a science or social studies theme that develops students’ knowledge of the content areas. The reading selections have a balance of National Geographic exclusive informational text and multicultural literature that work together to build a coherent body of knowledge within and across grades.

“We are excited to introduce this innovative new program into the K-5 reading market,” said Vincent Grosso, vice president, National Geographic Learning. “Common Core Standards require that reading instruction contains a balance of literary and informational texts, but recent studies have shown that over 75% of titles used for reading were narrative. With Reach for Reading, we are incorporating content and imagery from National Geographic to help prepare children for the world of informational texts.  Students will be reading about animals, places and other topics, while seeing vivid photos and labeled diagrams that correspond with the text, which results in a much more engaging experience. National Geographic’s content and Explorers are world-renowned, and provide an unmatched learning experience.”

“The adoption of the Common Core State Standards raises the bar for reading instruction in elementary schools,” said Nancy Frey, Ph.D., author of Reach for Reading, and Professor at San Diego State University. “The standards have resonated with educators and curriculum developers nationwide, and presented a challenge: How best to staircase literacy learning in order to meet the college- and career-ready goals articulated throughout? Elementary education is the first step on that staircase, and educators need comprehensive curriculum that addresses the shifts in practice that Common Core requires. The Reach for Reading program was explicitly designed with these shifts in mind.

Built into the program is a digital learning path called, myNGconnect, which provides students and teachers with the opportunity to bring content to life. This feature provides students with eEditions of the texts, vocabulary games, a word builder app and a vocabulary notebook, among other features. It also provides instructors with a teacher site that hosts a digital library, lesson planner and interactive whiteboard activities.

For more information or to take a virtual tour of National Geographic Learning’s Reach for Reading program, please visit To learn more on other products available from National Geographic Learning, please visit

About Cengage Learning and National Geographic Learning
Cengage Learning is a leading educational content, software and services company for academic, professional and library markets worldwide. National Geographic Learning, part of Cengage Learning, is a provider of quality core and supplemental educational materials for the PreK‐12, higher education and adult education markets. Cengage Learning and National Geographic Learning also distribute a variety of content from the National Geographic Society, including images, maps, videos and articles, to the academic and library markets worldwide. The company’s products and services are designed to foster academic excellence and professional development, increase student engagement, improve learning outcomes and deliver authoritative information to people whenever and wherever they need it.  For more information, visit