On September 17, 2019, Classroom Inc. celebrated the success of students and their incredible educators in the Million Words Read Challenge, launched on Read To Lead® in January. The Million Words Read Celebration Breakfast was held with the generous support of a long-term partner, New York Life Foundation, as well as other donors.
The celebration specifically highlighted the achievements of 1,300 of the 40,000 total students who participated in the challenge to collectively read one million or more words as a class, the equivalent of 12,000 minutes of reading.
Educator and Student Spotlight
One of the educators whose class became “Student Millionaires” was Ms. Deja Flynn, a teacher from St. Simon Stock School in the Bronx. Ms. Flynn described the Million Words Read Challenge as “a motivator” that helped her students read and comprehend effectively.
Her student Ashton felt that the challenge “pushed [his] reading and learning skills”, while Melinda reflected on the experience as helping her feel like she could “do something that could change everything to be positive.” Along with their teacher Ms. Flynn, these students were individually recognized at the Celebration Breakfast.
Recognizing Success and Acknowledging Support
For her time, effort and dedication that has had such an incredible impact on the lives of her students, Ms. Flynn was honored with the Educator Excellence Award. None of this would have been possible without the consistent partnership, guidance, and knowledge shared by the New York Life Foundation.
Their contribution in terms of investment, expertise, and leadership has deepened Classroom Inc.’s impact across the country and exemplifies great philanthropy in action, for which they were presented the Philanthropic Leadership Award.
Looking to the Future
For the rest of 2019 and 2020, Classroom Inc. is launching a new initiative based on five principles to further the mission of building students’ literacy and leadership skills. The Million Words Read Challenge cannot be a standalone effort but must be considered as part of a larger movement to inspire students to keep reading and keep leading.