New York, (November 25, 2020) – In response to the ongoing challenges in education resulting from COVID-19, Classroom, Inc. today announced an expansion of its existing partnership with the New York Life Foundation. This innovative funding model includes accelerated grants that enable Classroom, Inc. to impact thousands more students through Read to Lead, an award-winning digital learning platform that helps middle school students improve literacy and leadership skills to prepare them for a successful future in college, career, and life.

The New York Life Foundation and Classroom, Inc. have partnered for nearly 10 years, but COVID-19 has fostered a new level of collaboration and support between the two organizations.

At the onset of the pandemic, the New York Life Foundation rapidly mobilized resources to support Classroom, Inc.’s mission. In addition to an accelerated payment as part of their $2M grant and an additional $50,000 in COVID-response funding, New York Life employees wrote 53 notes of encouragement to students using Read to Lead to offer support and motivation to students learning from home.

As the pandemic continued, the New York Life Foundation and Classroom, Inc. continuously identified opportunities to deepen their collaboration. Classroom, Inc provided New York Life employees meaningful support by launching a series of interactive webinars that highlighted best practices for parents and caregivers to create engaging virtual learning environments for their children. In addition, New York Life employees were able to view a discussion given by Classroom, Inc. Executive Director Christina Oliver that focused on specific trends in education as a result of COVID-19, and how organizations are leveraging technology to create resources for parents, teachers, students, and employees to elevate impactful and equitable learning outcomes across the country.

“Classroom, Inc. provides fun and engaging digital learning games for middle school youth, which helps to better prepare them for high school. Their mission is aligned with our education focus and strategy to support organizations that help middle school students get to 9th grade on-time and on-track for high school graduation. Their approach to learning helped many children and parents acclimate and flourish at a time when learning virtually can be a challenge,” said Marlyn Torres, Senior Program Officer, the New York Life Foundation.  “COVID-19 lead to working with Classroom, Inc. in new and surprising ways which were beneficial for them and for us. As a trusted partner, they provided our agents and employees with the resources and information to help their children continue to learn remotely during the pandemic.”

With distance learning becoming the new normal, corporations and nonprofits are supporting each other in ever-more collaborative ways. “Our mission has never been more critical,” said Christina Oliver, “COVID-19 highlighted the long-standing systemic inequities borne out of poverty and discrimination. We’re grateful for the holistic partnership of the New York Life Foundation in helping us give educators and students the training and resources they need to adapt and thrive in this uncharted environment. It’s also wonderful to have the opportunity to provide value to New York Life employees in new ways.”

With support from the Taproot Foundation, which specializes in facilitating impactful skills-based volunteering partnerships between corporations and nonprofits, Classroom, Inc. is working with a team of six New York Life employees with expertise in data science to help optimize the nonprofit’s data collection process in service of reaching more students through its online games and curriculum.

For more information on Read to Lead, visit rtlgames.org.

If you’d like to learn more about the ways that Classroom, Inc. supports corporations, please contact Matt Chacko at mchacko@classroominc.org.

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!