Yes, it’s here – the newest career world is live on the platform and it centers around… drum roll please… Pharmacy! 

This summer, we collaborated with the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy’s faculty and students to create a new learning game that immerses students in the day-in-the-life of a lead Pharmacist. Read to Lead’s partnership with the University of Pittsburgh was made possible by an introduction from a generous supporter of both institutions, Constance Curran.

Ali Tepper, Read to Lead’s Director of Content and Curriculum shares about the experience, “Collaborating with UPitt School of Pharmacy provided a special opportunity to bring to life meaningful workplace scenarios from the pharmacy industry for middle school students. This creative partnership spanned the entire production cycle from ideation to piloting to ensure students had the most authentic and engaging experience possible in the world of pharmacy.” 

During the learning game, students are sent on an important mission to take on the role of the “boss” as they read closely, make complex decisions, and lead a diverse team during a time of crisis! Like all of our learning games, Community Pharmacy simultaneously supports middle schoolers to develop literacy, social emotional learning, and career skills. “Student learning is at the heart of our design process. We strive to ensure students have authentic ways to see themselves in different careers while making real-world decisions. The current-day experience of taking on the role of a pharmacist is extremely timely for students navigating the pandemic,” said Juliana Hess, Director of Research & Evaluation at Read to Lead.  


Aligned to ELA standards and the CASEL framework, during each learning game students read approximately 3,000-5,000 words, make 7 leadership decisions, and reflect on those decisions through metacognitive prompts and reflections.  “Our product team has been intentional about adding features to the game experience to help students grow social and emotional skills — like new realistic facial expressions for our characters, so students can receive social and non-verbal cues, and navigate complex conversations and decisions like they would in the context of a real day at work,” Nicholas Overton, Director of Software Engineering at Read to Lead shared.

In addition to the new game series, we recently launched a new Performance Report that is the first of its kind! For the first time ever, educators can assess not only English Language Arts (ELA) skills, but also Social Emotional Learning (SEL) skills. We know every classroom is full of students with different needs and ability levels – especially this year, as students are returning from remote-learning – so being able to see student performance in real-time is critical to being able to determine what to teach next. 

Speaking of what to teach next… one of the report’s newest features is the Game Recommendations where the platform takes the guesswork out of what to teach next and actually suggests what learning game to assign—based on students’ past performance, allowing for a truly low-lift differentiated learning experience. Achieving the ultimate goal of low-lift lesson planning for the educator but keeping it high-impact for the student. 

Best part – Read to Lead is still committed to being 100% free for educators and students. No tricks about it! 

“Our donors make it possible to offer Read to Lead at no cost, and we are incredibly grateful to The New York Life Foundation, the Max and Lorayne Cooper Foundation, and the S & L Marx Foundation for providing the generous philanthropic support that made these new learning games and features a reality,” Nick Haynes, Managing Director of Development at Read to Lead shared.

Educators, sign up for a free account here and start empowering the next generation of readers and leaders!

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!