New York Life Foundation Grants $400,000 to Classroom, Inc.

Lauren Williams's picture
Friday, May 10, 2013

Classroom, Inc., a nonprofit that develops and implements digital curricula using the latest in educational game technology to engage students and build their literacy and math skills, announced today a two-year, $400,000 grant from the New York Life Foundation.  The funding will support program expansion of Classroom, Inc.’s Transition Programs for Youth; the dissemination of a new digital literacy suite for sixth- through eighth-graders; and implementation of the organization’s strategic plan.

“We are thrilled to partner with the New York Life Foundation on these groundbreaking efforts.  Based on the urgent needs in education and increasing proof of technology’s capacity to deeply engage students, Classroom, Inc. and the New York Life Foundation are poised to make a critical impact and transform our city’s most under-resourced schools,” said Classroom, Inc. President Lisa Holton.  “With this incredible support from the New York Life Foundation, we will be able to dramatically increase our program’s impact over the next several years.”   

“We are pleased to support Classroom, Inc.’s innovative curriculum, which engages students and helps them develop academic skills essential for success in school and the workplace,” said Marlyn Torres, senior program officer of the New York Life Foundation.  “These interactive programs will help thousands of new students throughout New York City, doubling the number of students who are now engaged in the program.”

Classroom, Inc. immerses students in fast-paced, true-to-life workplaces, where literacy and decision-making skills have real-world consequences.  The curriculum offers a look at ten different careers in fields including finance, healthcare, media, broadcasting, the nonprofit sector, the environment, the arts, and law.  The New York Life Foundation grant will fund three components:

  1. Transition Programs for Youth offers struggling New York City middle and high school students a summer-through-school-year transition program using Classroom, Inc.’s computer simulations and curricula.  This program builds on a New York Life Foundation $300,000 grant made in 2010, which launched the organization’s high school transition program. 
  2. Reading in the Real World: Beginning in 2014, this new suite of learning programs for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders will reach 6,000 middle school students in the New York City area during year one, and will double that number by year two.  These web-based literacy programs will take place in real-world industries (e.g., banking, media, law), while also being aligned with the new, widely-adopted Common Core State Standards. 
  3. Completion of Classroom, Inc.’s new strategic plan: The new plan involves strengthening the senior management level of the organization, including hiring a new vice president and a chief officer of education partnerships, who is charged with increasing the number of schools with which the organization works and deepening its existing relationships. 

About Classroom, Inc.

Classroom, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that provides innovative, highly-engaging curricula for middle and high school students.  The centerpiece of its programs are “virtual internships” or workplace simulations that place young people in decision-making roles in real-world industries such as banking, health care, publishing, law, and media. Classroom, Inc.’s programs combine simulations with project-based learning to develop reading, critical thinking, complex problem solving, and collaborative learning skills, while fostering workplace readiness.  The curricula are supported with robust print resources, including a nonfiction library, and in-person professional development and coaching for teachers.  Since its inception 20 years ago, Classroom, Inc. has served more than 700,000 students and 10,000 teachers across the country.  To learn more, please visit www.classroominc.org.

About The New York Life Foundation

Inspired by New York Life’s tradition of service and humanity, the New York Life Foundation has, since its founding in 1979, provided more than $168 million in charitable contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations.  Through its focus on “Nurturing the Children,” the Foundation supports programs that benefit young people, particularly in the areas of educational enhancement and childhood bereavement.  The Foundation also encourages and facilitates the community involvement of employees, agents, and retirees of New York Life through its Volunteers for Good program.  To learn more, please visit www.newyorklifefoundation.org