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FableVision Acquires GET A CLUE, Releases ESSAY EXPRESS

Children's digital media and publishing company FableVision Inc. extends its educational products offerings with the acquisition of the award-winning GET A CLUE software program from the Core Learning Group Llc as well as the release of its new ESSAY EXPRESS software product.

GET A CLUE is a subscription-based web application for grades five through 12 that builds vocabulary and reading comprehension through inductive reasoning and critical thinking. The software uses the patented WATS Systems (Words And Their Stories), rather than rote memorization, for vocabulary development. FableVision will continue to sell GET A CLUE ( through its increasing network of direct sales and resellers, and will immediately review strategic product changes to enhance the product.

According to a TIME magazine report, the average 14- year-old in 1999 possessed a 10,000 word vocabulary, as compared with 25,000 found in a similar study in 1950. "With the evolution of the TV-gaming generation, strong reading and vocabulary acquisition habits are fading fast, but GET A CLUE uses a context-based approach as a more meaningful alternative to give students a more robust way to express themselves," says president Paul Reynolds. "And strategically for FableVision, this product also shapes our other offerings by being our first on-line subscription based product - serving as the model for upcoming versions of STATIONERY STUDIO, BRAINCOGS and ESSAY EXPRESS."

Exec partner Jane Reynolds notes, "GET A CLUE comes with a strong established subscriber base which dramatically strengthens FableVision's financial position because of the instant synergy of our product lines and sales strategy."

Dr. Bobbi Kurshan added "FableVision was the right home for GET A CLUE, given their reputation for innovative educational products and their ability to connect with progressive educators who are looking for better ways to reach learners more effectively." Dr. Kurshan has been cto/co-ceo/co-founder of Core Learning Group, an investment holding company established to invest in and acquire innovative education companies, which she co-founded with SPO Partners and Susan Harman. CLG has focused on K-12 supplemental publishing and post-secondary education programs and content.

The GET A CLUE Internet-delivered program contains more than 1,000 continuously updated target words divided into skill levels and thematic categories. The program also includes a full range of management and assessment features, such as customized quizzing and student performance reports. The WATS System follows a multi-step process based on inductive reasoning skills. WATS begins by displaying a target word. Students then receive essential information about the word, including its pronunciation, part(s) of speech and derivation, but, importantly, not its definition. Once they have read the derivation and the "story" behind the word, students are then presented with a series of five questions, or "clues," designed to lead them inductively toward a working definition. The software program has earned many industry accolades, including a Bessie, Media & Methods Portfolio Award, Bologna New Media, Codie Award and Eddie Awards.

Following the success of the award-winning Brain Cogs software, ESSAY EXPRESS is the second collaboration between Lexington-based Research Institute for Learning and Development (ResearchILD) and FableVision. It is based upon years of research by the internationally-acclaimed founders of Research ILD, Dr. Lynn Meltzer and Dr. Bethany Roditi. The new software leverages Research ILD's same research-based BrainCogs Cognitive Strategy System to develop meta-cognitive strategies so that all students can be successful in the classroom and beyond.

"We've seen the sometimes tragic results when students feel like failures and give up," explains Meltzer, who is also adjunct associate professor at Tufts University Dept. of Child Study and an associate in education at Harvard University. "There are just too many students progressing through the educational system without the help they need in order to show what they know or to be able to adequately express themselves."

Susan Taber M.Ed and the team of researchers, clinicians and learning therapists at The Research Institute for Learning & Development have spent over a decade researching and field-testing mega-cognitive strategies that support effective essay writing. Once again, the research group teamed with FableVision to scale those strategies in the ESSAY EXPRESS software application. The new program is based on the original award-winning BrainCogs software, which provides general meta-cognition strategies to support successful learning, studying and mostly non-essay test-taking.

"Getting kids excited about essay writing is not easy, but once again we used FableVision's broadcast sensibilities, completely original rock music, quirky humor and interactive activities in ESSAY EXPRESS to make them tune in, stay tuned in - and keep coming back for more, said Paul Reynolds.

"I write for a living and love it," adds FableVision ceo Peter H. Reynolds, an award-winning author of children's books, "but teaching the skill of being able to articulate one's thinking, support and defend one's own views seems to be one of the toughest challenges the 'holy grail' of education but ESSAY EXPRESS is packed with strategies that will last a life- time, and change lives in the process."

Developed with funding from the U.S. Department of Education, the ESSAY EXPRESS software provides about four to six hours of self-paced learning and practice. The software also spotlights the on-going saga of The Rotten Green Peppers, a dysfunctional rock band who are hired to write rock videos that teach kids about essay writing strategies. With step- by-step, narrated introductions to nine cognitive strategies that support the essay writing process, ESSAY EXPRESS also offers an interactive notebook, student performance tracking system and option for completely customizable teacher essay questions. Additional features include many lesson plan extension activities, reproducibles and additional bonus multimedia materials that provide even more learner support for both short and longer essay writing. For more information on ESSAY EXPRESS, call (888) 240-3437 or explore

Founded in 1996 by Peter and Paul Reynolds, FableVision is dedicated to serving children by creating "stories that matter, stories that move" for educators, families, museums, publishers and broadcasters. The FableVision team includes a diverse group of educators, writers, animators, instructional designers, research partners, programmers, interactive media specialists and university professors. Additional information can be found at

ResearchILD is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to creating pathways to success for all learners by leveraging research and technology to develop and disseminate research-based multi-media educational materials. The organization's goal is to help children, adolescents and adults with learning and attention differences to develop persistence and resilience and to attain success in school and in life. To achieve these goals, the Research ILD team focuses on changing the culture of classrooms for all learners and training teachers and parents to teach effective learning strategies and to foster resilience, positive self-concept and strong effort in all students. The Institute develops, evaluates and promotes strategies for successful learning and effective teaching through research, program development, dissemination of instructional materials, teacher training, professional development and scholarship support for educational services. For more information, visit

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