Follett Press Releases

Follett Partners With Dr. Susan B. Neuman’s Acclaimed Early Childhood Reading Program

World of Words focuses on PreK-1, builds children’s vocabulary, comprehension

MCHENRY, IL, Aug 17, 2015Follett announced today it is partnering with early childhood education expert Dr. Susan B. Neuman to become the exclusive distributor of World of Words (WOW), a new, research-based, shared book reading program for children at the PreK-1 grade levels. Developed by Dr. Neuman, who established the Early Reading First Program and Early Childhood Professional Development Education Program, WOW helps build vocabulary and comprehension.

"WOW builds content knowledge and connects word and world knowledge through a focus on oral language development through print," Dr. Neuman said. "These books are fabulous for children – they accelerate learning and help children learn how to learn. Plus, children learn to better express themselves and are able to come up with ideas on their own."

WOW offers an expert-curated set of books that follow a similar topic through a clear sequence that starts with easier, predictable books, and ends with more challenging information books. The scaffolded learning process is carefully organized to provide children with repeated exposure to content-rich vocabulary and, specifically, academic vocabulary. Classroom lessons are 12 to 15 minutes in length, while there also is parent outreach to encourage shared reading at home. For teachers, research-based, carefully tailored lesson plans are included with each series that help connect students to bigger ideas and key concepts.

"The Follett-WOW partnership offers educators pedagogically sound programs to positively impact literacy and cognitive skill development," said Dr. Margarete Ronnett, director of research, Follett School Solutions. "This partnership brings together Dr. Neuman’s literacy expertise and Follett’s unparalleled educational resources, which includes a team of Masters-degreed professionals, and represents our commitment to delivering robust, effective, and outcomes-focused solutions."

The WOW program utilizes critical principles to promote early childhood learning, including:

  • Using text genre to children’s advantage;
  • Connecting learning both within and across other disciplines to build academic vocabulary and to create knowledge networks, or clusters;
  • Aligning titles with Common Core;
  • Using explicit instruction; focused selection of words, with repeated exposure;
  • Helping students understand words in context, through rich, engaging content; and
  • Implementing special strategies for students needing additional support.

"This partnership is helping us to expand our role from the leading distributor of educational content to PreK-12 schools to a creator of curriculum-based instructional materials and programs," said Tom Schenck, president, Follett School Solutions. "Like Dr. Neuman, our team of former teachers and librarians are passionate about the work they do to support educators."

For more information about Follett, visit; for more information about World of Words, visit

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About Dr. Susan Neuman |

An expert in early childhood education, Dr. Neuman is Professor and Chair of Teaching and Learning at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University where she specializes in early literacy development. She also is the co-editor of Reading Research Quarterly, one of the most prestigious journals in reading research. Before coming to NYU, she served on the faculty in Educational Studies at the University of Michigan, directing the Ready-to-Learn Research Program.

Previously, Dr. Neuman has served as the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education. She is especially proud of her work in establishing the Early Reading First program, the Early Childhood Professional Development Education Program, and enhancing accountability efforts to improve children's achievement. Dr. Neuman is currently working on interventions that change the odds for children at risk, focusing her efforts on bringing content-rich instruction to children through shared books and media experiences.

About Follett's PreK-12 Business |

Follett is the largest provider of educational materials and technology solutions to PreK-12 libraries, classrooms, learning centers and school districts in the United States, and a major supplier to educational institutions worldwide. Follett distributes books, reference materials, digital resources, ebooks and audiovisual materials, as well as pre-owned textbooks. Follett also is one of the leading providers of integrated educational technology for the management of physical and digital assets, the tracking, storing and analyzing of academic data, and digital learning environment tools for the classroom focusing on student achievement.

About Follett Corporation |

For more than 140 years, Follett has been a trusted partner to pre-K and K-12 schools, districts, and college campuses, taking care of the critical details that make it easier for schools to run, teachers to teach and students to learn. Every day, Follett serves over half of the students in the United States, and works with 70,000 schools as a leading provider of education technology, services and print and digital content. Follett is higher education's largest campus retailer and a hub for school spirit and community, operating more than 1,150 local campus stores and 1,600 virtual stores across the continent. Headquartered in Westchester, Illinois, Follett is a $2.6 billion privately held company.