OAKLAND, Calif., Dec. 12, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Located in Southeastern North Carolina, Scotland County has the highest poverty and unemployment rates in the state. To positively impact the local community, Scotland County Schools is taking an innovative approach to adult education with the launch of a new program called Fast ForWord® Literacy for Adults. The district program, which is free and open to all community members, is designed to help local adults improve their reading skills and close literacy gaps. At the heart of the program is Fast ForWord, an online reading intervention based on over 30 years of research into how the brain learns. Looking for a way to help improve student learning, Scotland County Superintendent Rick Stout first implemented the Fast ForWord program in three schools. Based on the success experienced by those schools, Superintendent Stout made the program available to all 13 schools in the rural district. "After using the Fast ForWord program in our schools, we know how well it works and we've seen the benefits it's shown with our students," said Charlotte Garth, a teacher assistant at Washington Park Elementary School in Scotland County. "We wanted to bring those same benefits to the adults in our community as well." Developed by Scientific Learning Corp. (OTCQB:SCIL), the Fast ForWord program accelerates learning by strengthening the key pathways in the brain that help students learn. The online program, which can be implemented in a variety of settings, addresses reading skills and concurrently develops foundational cognitive skills like memory, attention, processing, and sequencing. These cognitive skills are central to all learning, resulting in improved outcomes for reading and other areas, too. "Our goal with Fast ForWord Literacy for Adults is to decrease illiteracy and increase participants' reading skills and their confidence in reading. This program will help adults who are parents of students in our schools to become more involved in their children's education, and it will help improve their ability to find employment or to get an even better job," said Garth. "I firmly believe in the Fast ForWord program and in what it can do."