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95 Percent Group, a Portfolio Company of Leeds Equity Partners, Acquires Tools 4 Reading

Acquisition adds Science of Reading-aligned professional learning and classroom resources to support 95 Percent Group’s mission to unlock the power of literacy for all students


New York, USA – February 22, 2023.  95 Percent Group (the “Company”) today announced the acquisition of Tools 4 Reading,  a company founded nearly 15 years ago by literacy education leader Mary E. Dahlgren, Ed.D., to provide educators with the knowledge, skills and resources to ground literacy instruction in the Science of Reading.  The acquisition comes close on the heels of the Company’s January acquisition of Hill Reading Achievement Program (HillRAP) from Hill Learning Center.  Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. 


“The addition of Tools 4 Reading’s product suite to the 95 Percent Group phonics ecosystem will significantly grow our Science of Reading-aligned professional learning and classroom resource offerings, expanding our capacity to deliver on our mission to unlock the power of literacy for all students,” said Brad Lindaas, CEO. “Schools transitioning to the Science of Reading must equip their educators with the knowledge and practice and the evidence-based tools for implementing a structured literacy program.  95 Percent Group is now the most complete source for literacy success in schools.”


Scott VanHoy, Partner of Leeds Equity Partners, said “We are excited about the acquisition of Tools 4 Reading given its track record of increasing student literacy levels.  The acquisition furthers the Company’s mission to find opportunities to partner with the country’s leading literacy education companies like Tools 4 Reading and experts like Mary Dahlgren.”


Mastering effective literacy instruction requires robust professional learning.  The Reading Teacher’s Top 10 Tools will grow 95 Percent Group’s offerings to include a comprehensive Science of Reading course designed to help teachers, administrators, and school support staff build a firm foundation in Science of Reading conceptual knowledge, including the fundamentals of phonics-based instruction.  Originally developed by literacy expert Deb Glaser, Ed.D., Top 10 Tools includes 10 self-paced easy-to-use tools: knowledge, oral language, phonemes, phonics and spelling, vocabulary, comprehension, fluency, writing, read-alouds and collaboration.  The course builds upon the Company’s existing professional learning services designed for educators deploying its phonics ecosystem of products.


"The acquisition of Tools 4 Reading expands the depth and breadth of 95 Percent Group’s content and product suite and uniquely positions the Company to teach students the specific skills they need to successfully read.  We look forward to working with Mary and the team and to the continued success of Tools 4 Reading as part of 95 Percent Group," said Eric Geveda, Managing Director at Leeds Equity Partners.


Polsinelli served as legal counsel to Leeds Equity Partners.  Hartzog Conger Cason served as legal counsel to Tools 4 Reading. 


About 95 Percent Group

Founded in 2005, 95 Percent Group is an education company whose mission is to help educators identify and address the needs of all readers.  Using an approach that is aligned with structured literacy, the company focuses on providing educators with whole-class and small-group literacy solutions as well as developing foundational knowledge about The Science of Reading to deliver evidence and research-based instructional strategies.  The company’s professional development, diagnostic assessments, skill continua, and explicit instructional materials strengthen MTSS/RTI frameworks and ensure that students receive targeted intervention instruction to close skill gaps.


For more information, visit https://www.95percentgroup.com/.


About Tools 4 Reading

Since its founding in 2010, Tools 4 Reading has empowered educators with the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to ground literacy instruction in the science of reading.  Its resources and professional learning experiences are easy to implement and designed to improve literacy instruction.  Tools 4 Reading products and training include Kid Lips, Kid Lips Instructional Guide, Sound Wall Solutions, and Phoneme/Grapheme Cards, and The Reading Teacher’s Top 10 Tools.


For more information, visit https://www.tools4reading.com/.


About Leeds Equity Partners

Leeds Equity is a New York-based private equity firm dedicated exclusively to partnering with management teams in the education, training, and information services industries (the "Knowledge Industries").  The firm was founded in 1993 and currently manages over $4 billion of capital across a broad spectrum of companies within the Knowledge Industries.  Leeds Equity seeks to leverage its sector-focused expertise and market insights to create long-term value for its partner companies and investors.


For additional information on Leeds Equity Partners, see http://www.leedsequity.com/.