TFA Social Innovation Award Honors Edtech Companies

EdSurge June 16, 2015
On June 16, Teach for America announced the winners of its 2015 Social Innovation Awards, which provide up to $100,000 in seed funding. Unlike previous years, edtech companies made a big appearance: CommonLit, which provides texts to literacy teachers, and Kinvolved, a communication tool for students’ support networks, won in the Overall Track category, receiving $50,000 and $75,000 respectively.

Meet the Game-Changers: 2015 Social Innovation Award Winners Announced

Teach for America June 15, 2015
CommonLit is a nonprofit organization that delivers high-quality, free instructional materials to literacy teachers. At, 5th-12th grade teachers can access a diverse, open collection of the best news articles, short stories, historical documents, scientific articles, and poems—all organized by the themes students love to discuss. “Our framework is based on the idea that a low-skilled reader is not a low-skilled thinker, and that every student, no matter where she goes to school, deserves to be challenged with the highest quality reading materials,” Brown says.

NB Grad Builds Website Aiming to Better Literacy

Herald Zeitung December 22, 2014
After teaching seventh-grade reading at one of the nation’s lowest-performing schools, then teaching the same subject at one of the nation’s highest-performing schools, former New Braunfelser and New Braunfels High School graduate Michelle Brown felt that something had to be done. So, she developed a website called CommonLit with the goal of improving literacy in the country.

Make Literacy a Focus of PBL

Edutopia November 21, 2014
CommonLit offers teachers a free collection of articles of articles, short stories, poems, and historical documents, organized into cross-cutting themes such as "Justice, Freedom, and Equality." Intended for middle-school readers, materials are sorted into three reading levels. That means all students can engage with texts and contribute to discussions and other project activities. Stephanie Cardella (@cardella112) applauded the site's focus on "big ideas in text".

The Best Places to Get the ‘Same’ Text Written for Different ‘Levels’

Larry Ferlazzo November 16, 2014
I learned about CommonLit from the amazing educator Suzie Boss at her recent Edutopia post. It’s a neat site that doesn’t actually provide the “same” text written for different “levels.” What it does do, however, is provide leveled readings – with prompts — on the same theme. It’s pretty neat.

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