Sterling Heights

Online literacy tool headquartered in Sterling Heights acquired by Illinois education company

What’s happening: It’s an education-meets-small business success story in Sterling Heights, where Sortegories, headquartered in the Macomb County community, was recently acquired this April by 95 Percent Group, an Illinois-based education company. Sheryl Ferlito, a Special Education Literacy and Intervention Supervisor at Chippewa Valley Schools, co-founded Sortegories, an interactive online literacy tool.

What it is: Ferlito co-authored and co-founded Sortegories with Nancy Chapel Eberhardt, an educational consultant in Connecticut. The literacy experts built a digital learning tool that improves students’ reading fluency and comprehension through interactive practice activities. Sortegories learners range from pre-K through 8th grade, and benefit a diverse spectrum of learners.

Why it’s important: "Our mission has always been to help as many students as possible to learn to read and we feel integrating with 95 Percent Group's product network will exponentially speed the pace at which we'll fulfill that goal," reads a statement from Sheryl Ferlito, co-author of Sortegories. "Sortegories is the perfect student-directed, digital practice tool complement to 95 Percent Group's ecosystem of science of reading products and resources."

Where it’s going: Sortegories will be integrated into the 95 Percent Group’s One95 Literacy Platform, an online platform for core instruction and intervention digital resources. Based in Illinois, 95 Percent Group itself belongs to the portfolio of New York-based private equity firm Leeds Equity Partners, which did not disclose terms of the transaction.

What they’re saying: "Sortegories expands 95 Percent Group's best-in-class ecosystem of literacy resources with the addition of a high-quality, digital practice tool,” says Scott VanHoy, Partner at Leeds Equity Partners. “We look forward to working with Nancy and Sheryl, as well as to the continued success of Sortegories as part of 95 Percent Group.”

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.