Building literacy and leadership skills, with an emphasis on career readiness are at the core of nonprofit Classroom, Inc.’s mission. To deliver on this mission, the organization launched Read to Lead®, a comprehensive and free program developed through nearly 30 years of impact with students and teachers in high poverty communities. Read to Lead® is based on five principles that advance literacy, build leadership skills and equip middle school students for success in school today and their future careers.

Read to Lead: Five Guiding Principles

At the foundation of all learning lies the ability to read and understand. Reading proficiency is the number one predictor of a student’s success in high school, college and career, which is why ensuring all students are equipped with the necessary skills to be competent readers is critical. Yet, reading is not something that comes naturally to every student. By offering an engaging reading experience within an immersive fictional workplace, Read to Lead® blasts through traditional reading barriers to improve reading confidence and proficiency.

Apart from reading, students need to develop skills such as critical thinking and problem solving. As the world and the workforce becomes increasingly more complex, providing youth with opportunities to practice and develop their 21st century skills creates the foundation for a lifetime of opportunity. In Read to Lead® students are faced with workplace challenges where they must evaluate evidence and make tough decisions, helping them to build the skills to navigate school, life and their future workplace.

Put middle school students into positions of power and leadership, and they will rise to the occasion. Read to Lead intentionally creates characters that reflect the diversity of the communities it works with. Allowing students to see themselves in the characters of the learning games empowers them to learn about diverse career paths they may not have otherwise considered. Read to Lead® also gives students access to leadership opportunities and the chance to see themselves in positions where they can enact change, a powerful experience that inspires them.

Learning must be relevant. 81% of high school dropouts report that real-world learning opportunities would have improved their chances of staying in school. Read to Lead® Learning games give students the opportunity to experience over 30 careers, helping them make connections between what they are learning in school and to future career opportunities. 

Across the country, a majority of parents and students have reported that they do not get recognized for their achievements, nor do they get celebrated for reaching new levels of success. Within the Read to Lead® platform, students are awarded badges for reaching certain milestones, and can follow their class leaderboard which tracks the number of words they’ve read both individually and as a class, which inspires and motivates them to keep striving for higher levels of excellence. In addition, Read to Lead creates moments to honor student and educator achievements, through events such as the Million Words Read Challenge. 


Based on these five guiding principles, Read to Lead has developed a learning game platform and a community of committed educators dedicated to equipping students with skills essential for success in school today and the careers of tomorrow.

Interested in participating in the 2020-2021 Million Words Read Challenge with your students? Be sure to register on the free Read to Lead® platform, sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay in the loop!



About Read to Lead

Read to Lead uses the power of game-based learning to empower middle school students to build literacy, life, and career skills. Teachers can sign up for a free account to get started!