Educator Deja Flynn has been teaching grades K-8 for over a decade and currently focuses on middle school students. Like many educators, Ms. Flynn faces challenges in keeping her students motivated to learn and engage with their curriculum. During the school day, she teaches students at St. Simon Stock School, a culturally diverse Catholic school in the South Fordham section of the Bronx. During the summer and afterschool, Ms. Flynn works with Children’s Aid in Harlem.
In both of her roles as an educator, Ms. Flynn uses Read to Lead. She’s been using Classroom, Inc. resources since 2005 and has seen strong growth in literacy and comprehension, and improved 21st Century Skills from her students over the years.
“Read to Lead helps my students improve their level of their reading and teaches them how to make decisions in the role of a leader,” said Ms. Flynn. “My middle school students learn how to respect their peers and interacting with those around them. The characters in the game are relatable, and the kids can connect with them — and learn from them!”
Ms. Flynn has also noticed her students using Read to Lead to set themselves up for success outside of the classroom. Her students have started viewing relationships with adults as a way to practice speaking to and interacting with future bosses, as well as responding to a variety of situations. They’re also able to better identify wrong choices, as well as adding a sense of humility to their personalities.
When the Million Words Read Challenge launched in January 2019, Ms. Flynn noticed new levels of motivation in her classroom. The students used the challenge to compete with each other on the amount of words they were reading in Read to Lead, and were motivated — pushing for success even before starting the lessons. She also saw students who didn’t normally pay attention get into the spirit of competition.
“The students are definitely recognizing their successes,” Ms. Flynn said. “One of my students said, ‘I don’t read this many words outside of class.’ [And now,] he’s reading thousands and thousands of words on the platform. His amount of words made him proud, and it’s made a big difference for both of us.”
About Read to Lead
Read to Lead is an education technology nonprofit that uses game-based learning to empower middle school students to develop their literacy, life, and career skills.