Murrieta: Local Elementary School Student Receives “National 180 Award” for Literacy


Photo of Desiree Vega with her family; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt representative, Principal Rob Lurkins, Teacher Mrs. Barbara Rosales and Superintendent Patrick Kelley

Desiree Vega is Recognized for her Outstanding Achievements & Ability to Overcome Obstacles inside and outside of the Classroom

Desiree Vega, a student at Murrieta Elementary School, has been named a recipient of the prestigious 2019 National 180 Student Awards. The award recognizes 16 children across the United States who overcame significant obstacles to become thriving, successful learners.

The 13th annual 180 Student Awards program, organized by learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, honors students who, with the help of their remarkable teachers, have made notable progress in literacy and math achievement as well as personal growth outside the classroom.

Through the use of READ 180, an intervention program that use adaptive technology to personalize student instruction, Desiree has made significant literacy gains, going from speaking no English at all to a Lexile® score of 734 in just a year and a half.

Read 180 has helped me change my mindset toward reading,” says Desiree. ““Thanks to Read 180, I can do more things than before, like understand English and speak and write in a better way. Now I can help others instead of them helping me.”

With the support of System 44 and Read 180, Desiree has made tremendous growth, consistently averaging 81 percent or higher in all learning zones in the Read 180 software. She’s even become a become a role model to fellow EL and non-EL students.

Desiree is now confident in her ability to work through tough situations,” says Barbara Rosales, Desiree’s teacher. “She stands out as a dedicated young lady that has overcome obstacles to persistently work toward high achievement.”

Student winners were carefully selected by an HMH committee based on several factors, including teacher recommendations, student statements and video submissions, as well as data demonstrating reading or math growth according to the Lexile® or Quantile® framework. Each winner will receive a cash prize, and the student’s school district will receive READ 180, System 44 and/or MATH 180 materials for their school or district.

Press Release Provided By the Murrieta Valley Unified School District

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