Donor Spotlight

Emily Wilson Burns has always been passionate about education. As a longtime educator, she  has taught students in a variety of roles—as a middle school teacher, a tutor, and a reading and math support teacher. 

Emily was first introduced to Classroom, Inc. by her late father, John Wilson, who was an enthusiastic founding supporter of the organization. She distinctly remembers visiting a school in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood with her father and being excited to see Parkside Hotel, one of the first learning programs, in action. Back then, middle school students were just beginning to “be the boss” in a software simulation in which students acted as a hotel manager. 

As Classroom, Inc. transitions to become Read to Lead, Emily continues to feel deeply connected to the organization’s mission to help middle school students develop their literacy and leadership skills. She has been especially inspired to see Read to Lead evolve into an impactful, digital learning platform and expand its reach among teachers and students across the country.

“I see Read to Lead as being a way to create more quality educational opportunities for kids who don’t have a lot of opportunities,” she shared. “And as a way for teachers who are overtaxed with huge classrooms to have support and resources.”

As a former middle school teacher and a mother of three, Emily understands middle school to be a time when students can feel more vulnerable and sensitive. She believes Read to Lead is a great tool to help students build confidence in themselves and in their abilities. She also appreciates that Read to Lead provides content that middle schoolers find relatable and interesting, inspiring them to cultivate a joy of reading. 

Through their dedicated support of Read to Lead, Emily and her family have helped to bring a proven learning model to over 1 million students and thousands of teachers. It is because of supporters like the Wilson Family that teachers nationwide have free access to Read to Lead and the tools they need to inspire their students to take charge of their learning and become confident readers and leaders.

About Read to Lead

Read to Lead, created by the nonprofit organization, Classroom Inc., 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!