In 1931, three young salesmen joined forces to begin what would become one of the true success stories in the field of home education. Against the background of the Great Depression, Warren Davis, Joseph Rink and Elmer Wolford pooled their modest resources and their extraordinary talents to form The United Educators, Inc. Its goal was to help parents help their children become better readers, stronger learners and more successful students.
The company opened for business in a single room at the LaSalle Hotel in Chicago. With its three founders accepting only minimum salaries, it relied on a “Can Do, Will Do” spirit to grow steadily through the Depression and World War II.
In the early 1950’s, The United Educators relocated to Lake Bluff, Illinois and Tangley Oaks, at one time the estate of Philip Armour III. The company transformed this 161-acre property into a vibrant learning center that housed its administrative, editorial, developmental and educational staffs. During the same period, it took another giant step forward, acquiring The Book House For Children Corporation, founded by educator Olive Beaupre Miller. For several years thereafter, Mrs. Miller remained with the company in an advisory capacity while continuing to develop and revise My Book House, her highly acclaimed series of readers for parents and children.
For many years, The United Educators maintained a laboratory school to provide crucial “hands on” testing of new programs. The result was a library of home learning materials for use by parents with their children – a library that remains the cornerstone of the program offered by The United Educators today.
We enter the new century as a sophisticated, technologically advanced organization that remains at the forefront of our industry. Yet, while we are a far different company than the one that opened its doors nearly three quarters of a century ago, one thing about The United Educators remains unchanged: our old-fashioned commitment to integrity and excellence in home learning.
Our Philosophy Many years ago we began to express the idea that The child who reads is the child who leads.® This belief continues to guide us today.
Our aim is to help children in early infancy and in all stages of their cognitive development to become stronger learners by providing their families with quality reading materials.
Our program, which includes not only literature but also science and research materials, can give children a head start on their counterparts, both before they enter school and afterwards. It can also help them develop an appreciation for learning and an ability to do it more effectively. The key is to begin the child's education in the home and at an early age. Children exposed to speech, learn to speak without special instruction. Learning to read, however, does require interactive instruction long before a child enters school.
As The National Committee on Excellence in Education stated in its report entitled A Nation At Risk: "As surely as you are your child's first and most influential teacher, your child's ideas about education and its significance begin with you."
Good speech and language skills are the building blocks to good readers. Infants and preschoolers will become good readers by listening to speech, storybooks and nursery rhymes. Children who do not receive this kind of stimulation, this “nursery rhyme effect,” are less likely to become good readers when they enter school.
Preparing children to acquire knowledge through reading in this ever-changing world is the continuing goal of The United Educators, Inc.
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