Classroom, Inc.’s Literacy Learning Game After the Storm Helps Struggling Readers Jump Ahead of Peers

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Ilena Parker
iparker@classroominc.org
212.545.8400

Classroom, Inc.’s Literacy Learning Game After the Storm Helps Struggling Readers Jump Ahead of Peers

New report finds that students using After the Storm exceed expected reading growth by 160%

For Immediate Release

New York, NY – April 19, 2016 – Classroom Inc.’s digital learning game After the Storm closes the achievement gap for struggling readers in high-poverty schools, according to a report released today.

The report features results from a multi-method evaluation study with 1,450 middle school students who used the game during the 2014-2015 school year. The game is used by educators as an engaging alternative to traditional literacy programs, and is most frequently used in schools where 75% or more students qualify for free or reduced lunch.

In schools where After the Storm was used, struggling readers achieved big learning gains, exceeding national norms for reading growth by 160%. While Classroom, Inc. students started the program reading at a level below the national norms, students jumped ahead of their peers and completed the program at a reading level higher than national norms.

In addition to improving reading skills, the game improved attitudes towards reading and motivated students to read more outside of the game. Students also developed critical 21st century skills, with nearly all teachers reporting gains in problem-solving, decision-making and persistence as a result of the game.

A digital learning game set in the professional world, After the Storm invites students to “become the boss.” Students take on the role of editor-in-chief of an online news magazine the day after a major hurricane has hit the local community. As they work through various challenges of being the boss in a time of crisis, students must read closely, think critically, build leadership skills, and solve real-world problems. The game comes with educator tools including real-time data dashboards, curriculum designed to the Common Core State Standards, project-based activities and assessments.

After the Storm has changed students’ reading behavior! We love that they can’t just skim through and get by. Students are reading closely and are deeply engaging with their employees and varied texts to accomplish their work,” said Ms. Estes, 7th grader teacher in Daviess, KY.

“Students who develop strong literacy skills are more likely to succeed in school and throughout their lives. But only 12% of 8th graders who live in poverty are proficient in reading,” said Classroom, Inc.’s President Lisa Holton. “The results of After the Storm show how we can use games and educational technology to create practical, high-impact solutions that close the academic achievement gap in our highest-need communities.”

The full report Changing the Game for Adolescent Literacy and Leadership: Results from the Learning Game After the Storm is available for download from Classroom, Inc. A summary of key findings is also available.

After the Storm is the debut game in the Read to Lead series, a set of immersive literacy learning games and curriculum designed to middle school Common Core State Standards in reading and writing. More information on After the Storm and instructions on how to start using the program for free are available on Classroom, Inc.’s website.

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About Classroom, Inc.
Classroom, Inc. is a nonprofit that develops literacy and leadership skills for middle school students in high-poverty communities. Students become the boss through our digital learning games set in the professional world. In the process, they read closely, think critically, and solve real-world problems, all while balancing the hectic demands of an exciting workplace.

By putting students in charge of their learning and providing support for educators, our programs deeply engage students and foster the critical literacy skills that will help them thrive in school and beyond. Learn more about our revolutionary approach, and find out how you can help at Classroominc.org.