News Releases

FEBRUARY 7, 2017

Follett Partners with New Zealand’s Wendy Pye Publishing


Revival of Sunshine Classics brings back gold standard in leveled, guided reading

MCHENRY, IL – Follett announced today it has formed a partnership with New Zealand-based Wendy Pye Publishing to provide more than 300 fiction and nonfiction titles for K-2 classrooms. Pye’s company introduced Sunshine Classics in the USA in the 1980s, and the popular reading program has been revived with updated print options for learners and educators.

The features that made Sunshine Classics popular – timeless titles that draw on children’s experience and view of the world, loveable characters and engaging stories, leveled and constructed to specifically support to K-2 readers – all have returned. The titles have been edited and modernized to reflect current topics and interests to today’s young students, as well as to provide question stems that help teachers correlate them to state standards.

In addition, nonfiction texts have been added to the K-2 set, which provide important language skills based around scientific vocabulary and range in topics from outer space to animals to science and technology. The content is designed to engender new interests in young readers.

Dame Wendy Pye, CEO and publisher of Sunshine, said she is looking forward to working with Follett’s team to bring Sunshine Classics, featuring authors such as Joy Cowley and Margaret Mahy, to elementary classrooms throughout the country.

“This partnership brings together the best of Sunshine resources and the marketing vision and expertise of Follett,” said Pye, who has earned many awards and accolades for helping to improve learning outcomes in literacy through ongoing partnerships. “We are very excited to bring back the gold standard in leveled and guided reading. Whether educators are looking for solutions for guided reading, shared reading, and take-home books or to support ELL/DLL students, students at risk of reading failure, or intervention, Sunshine Classics supports instruction with a systematic, authentic reading approach.”

Pye added Sunshine Classics’ authors are skilled at writing stories for beginning readers by providing just the right amount of support and challenge. Each story in a series has been leveled and constructed to support early learners from the introduction, repetition of high frequency words to the illustration and text matching sentence construction and line breaks. Moreover, question stems, guided reading teacher notes, and high frequency words are embedded in each book, while skill charts are provided to ensure teachers are supported with the scope and sequence of the program.

“Follett is thrilled to play a key role in the revival of Sunshine Classics,” said Nader Qaimari, President, Follett School Solutions. “We look forward to working with Dame Wendy Pye and her team to engage young readers throughout the U.S. and help continue her inspiring dream of teaching the world to read.”

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