WASHINGTON—The National Geographic Society has entered into an agreement to acquire The Hampton-Brown Company, the leading publisher of English as a Second Language (ESL) instructional materials, it was announced today by John Fahey, president and CEO of NGS. Hampton-Brown founder and CEO Sherry Long has been named chairman and CEO of the new National Geographic School Publishing Group, reporting to Fahey.
This newly created division will combine the Hampton-Brown imprint and its focus on meeting the needs of linguistically and culturally diverse student populations with National Geographic School Publishing, a leader in the development of nonfiction, supplemental education materials. The new enterprise will be headquartered in Carmel, Calif., with offices in Washington, D.C.; Evanston, Ill.; San Antonio; and Salinas, Calif. The parties expect to close the transaction on Tuesday, Feb. 28.
“This is an extraordinary marriage of the leaders in language development and literacy with National Geographic’s world-renowned content and brand,” Fahey said. “The sum is truly more than the parts, and the parts are fantastic. At National Geographic, we are deeply committed to serving children with a wide array of appealing and high-impact content that takes full advantage of the Society’s vast resources — which include the best in cartography, geography and the sciences, illuminated by the most powerful photography, video and storytelling anywhere. Today’s classroom is culturally and linguistically diverse, and all students must have access to resources that can help them succeed. This terrific team will find even more innovative ways to better serve students, their parents and teachers.”
“National Geographic and Hampton-Brown are perfect partners to fulfill the mission of making a difference in this nation’s classrooms,” added Long. “Both companies have a global perspective. National Geographic is about the world and all that is in it. Hampton-Brown is about building on the strength of students from diverse world cultures in America’s classrooms. We both share a passion for quality and for creating culturally sensitive instructional materials that improve academic performance. This powerful combination will be a winning one for our employees, our authors and contributors, our educational partners, and most importantly of all, for the students and teachers we serve.”
The new division will benefit from the combined leadership of highly experienced managers in the school publishing arena. Samuel Gesumaria, president of Hampton-Brown, will direct the division as president and COO.
The expanding publishing efforts will be headed by Steve Mico, NGS senior vice president and publisher, content literacy, and Julie Cason of Hampton-Brown, senior vice president and publisher, ESL and ELA, K-12. John Pichel, senior vice president of sales and marketing, will oversee the divisional sales and marketing effort.
Hampton-Brown, founded 25 years ago by Sherry Long, has focused its publishing efforts on language and literacy materials for underperforming students and for students whose first language is not English. Its materials have been in wide use in U.S. schools by students from pre-kindergarten through grade 12. In the area of ESL, Hampton-Brown set the standard with its state-of-the-art programs High Point and Avenues. New programs for striving readers and English learners at the secondary level are designed to build the language and literacy skills that students need to pass exit exams and graduate from high school.
National Geographic’s educational publishing activities have expanded rapidly over the past few years and include an array of highly regarded products that underscore the importance of nonfiction in a school setting, including National Geographic EXPLORER, a curriculum-based classroom publication for teachers and students, now available in over 50,000 classrooms. The award-winning Windows on Literacy series was most recently named winner of Learning Magazine’s Teacher’s Choice award for Math in the Content Areas. In January 2006, the Society launched several new content literacy programs, including Language, Literacy, and Vocabulary, designed for students who need extra support learning academic content and vocabulary, and a series of content-based fiction readers.
In addition, the Society’s Education Foundation has worked for 17 years to restore geography education to the nation’s classrooms and bolster the training and resources available to geography teachers around the country. An extensive network of state alliances, combined with grants and workshops on best instructional practices, has led to the establishment of Standards of Learning related to geography. In 2005, the Society assumed oversight of the Jason Project, an organization dedicated to providing standards-based, multimedia science curricula and professional development to 1 million middle-grade students and 20,000 teachers around the world.
Founded in 1888, the National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. It reaches more than 330 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic, and its four other magazines; the National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; radio programs; films; books; videos and DVDs; maps; and interactive media. National Geographic has funded more than 8,000 scientific research projects and supports an education program combating geographic illiteracy. For more information, log on to nationalgeographic.com; AOL Keyword: NatGeo.