Do you remember the magical moment when you started reading on your own?
That rush of excitement when the letters and words made sense and you truly understood what was on the page?
In that instant, your confidence grew, your mind expanded, and every new book was a discovery!
Perhaps you have experienced these milestone moments through the eyes of a child and witnessed the joy they felt as the new world of reading opened before them.
It is hard to overstate the importance of reading to our life experience. As the gateway to the world of ideas, reading opens doors to opportunities, opens minds to new ideas, and fuels our imaginations. As the foundation of our education, how well we read determines how quickly we grasp new subjects and develop our innate potential to learn and grow.
The impact is profound: early success or challenges with reading compound over time,
shaping educational pathways, student confidence, and life trajectories.
Tragically, according to the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress (a.k.a The Nation’s Report Card), only 35 percent of 4th and 8th grade students demonstrate reading proficiency. Unfortunately, these early literacy deficits persist according to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy, 43 percent of adults are capable of no more than basic reading activities.
The toll of these statistics is staggering, measured in unrealized potential and barriers to success in our information-driven society. Notwithstanding the valiant efforts of educators and families, current approaches are failing to achieve acceptable outcomes for large segments of our society. These challenges are also familiar to the many people learning English for the first time.
Against this backdrop, our team asked: how we can apply modern technologies and cognitive science to see reading differently. The widespread shift to digital media provides the opportunity to revisit not just the devices on which we read, but the role that text formatting can play in improving our understanding of the written word. While almost all elements of life have changed since the Middle Ages, text formatting remains as it has been since the tenth century.
English language readers continue to read in left-justified text which fills the page, a format dictated by the constraints imposed by the printing press. For the past four years we have been developing and testing a new approach to text formatting. The result is Cascade Reading:® a revolutionary method of presenting text using natural language processing and patent-protected algorithms to enhance reading comprehension.
The next chapter in reading… is here
The past year has been filled with news about the power of new AI technologies to improve productivity and efficiency through increasingly capable machines. We celebrate that spirit of innovation, but we are motivated by a more human-centered goal: the idea that new technologies can fundamentally enhance human capacities, so we can do more of the things that only humans can do.
Our vision is for a world filled with more people reading, learning, and expressing their talents. More moments of discovery, reflection, and dots being connected. A world where more human potential is realized, and where better reading leads to better understanding. Welcome to Cascade Reading, we hope you join us and we look forward to your feedback.
Michael Gorman and Mark Lacek
Co-founders, Cascade Reading