Today, Classroom, Inc., a nonprofit that creates immersive learning games for middle school youth, celebrated the success of the educators and students who completed the organization’s first annual Million Words Read Challenge. During the event, local Bronx teacher Deja Flynn was honored for her decades-long work in improving leadership and literacy skills for her students at St. Simon Stock School.
The New York Life Foundation, funders of the Million Words Read Challenge, joined Classroom, Inc., and other New York City educational leaders in praising Ms. Flynn’s dedication and impact.
For nearly 30 years, Classroom, Inc. has been on a mission to connect middle school youth with real-world workplace experiences through hands-on learning that improves their literacy and comprehension skills while building them up as leaders. Read to Lead, their game-based program, gives students the chance to make tough decisions as the leaders of three different workplaces.
“We invest in Classroom, Inc. because of their proven programs that engage and empower today’s students to become tomorrow’s leaders. The Read to Lead program and the Million Words Read Challenge strengthens critical literacy and social emotional learning skills,” said Marlyn Torres, senior program officer of the New York Life Foundation. “These are key skills middle school students need to be successful in school, the workforce, and in life.”
Launched in January 2019, the Million Words Read Challenge tasked students with reading over one million words using Classroom, Inc.’s Read to Lead platform. Ms. Flynn has been using Classroom, Inc.’s resources in her classroom since 2005, both in her Bronx classroom and as the leader of after-school and Summer programs at Children’s Aid in Harlem. She initially signed up to participate in the Million Words Read Challenge as a way to keep her students on track in their English Language Arts performance throughout the year. Her students enjoyed using Read to Lead because they found the episodes to be interesting and engaging.
By March of 2019, all 19 of Ms. Flynn’s sixth, seventh and eighth grade classes had collectively read over one million words in the games. Because the platform tracks the number of words read, her students recognized their accomplishments and started encouraging each other to
“The students definitely recognized their success. Even the students who weren’t paying attention really got into it,” recalled Ms. Flynn. “One of my students told me he doesn’t ever read this many words outside of class. Seeing the number of words he had read on the platform made him proud. The Million Words Read Challenge made a big difference for both of us!”
Classroom, Inc. plans to announce the launch the 2020 Million Words Read Challenge later this year. To learn more about Read to Lead and sign up for the free platform, please visit here.
About Classroom, Inc.
Classroom, Inc. is a nonprofit that creates immersive learning games for middle school youth. Since 1992, Classroom, Inc. has worked to engage students in school and expanded learning settings and help them build essential life, leadership, and literacy skills.
The inspiration for the organization was born out of a successful partnership between Morgan Stanley colleagues and Columbia Teacher’s College that resulted in simulation software in which students acted as managers of a business. In 2012, we launched Read to Lead, a blended learning program that allows middle school youth across the country to foster the critical skills that will help them thrive in school and beyond. To learn more about Classroom, Inc, please visit here.