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Committing $100 million to meaningful classroom learning

Matthew Gross
Feb 25, 2021

When we founded Newsela, we set out to massively improve classroom learning.  We believed strongly in the power of content to captivate students and create a love of learning. And we knew that traditional materials being produced for the classroom were not making the cut.  

You agreed. 

Thirty-seven million students, 2.5 million teachers, and a year of unprecedented historical events later, we’ve discovered that teachers, administrators, students and parents all share a basic vision of meaningful, effective classroom learning. It’s relevant. It’s inclusive. It adapts to each student’s needs, interests and lived experiences. It imparts knowledge we know will be important in order to succeed in subsequent schooling and life. It provides teachers with flexibility and choice to constantly adjust and course-correct. It engages students and teachers alike because let’s face it, a bored, stressed-out teacher almost certainly is going to lead to bored, stressed-out students.  

Most importantly, it is possible. 

The world continues to change around us and we aren’t standing still. To deliver on our promise to improve classroom learning, Newsela is committing $100 million, made possible by a Series D investment, to deliver next-generation solutions that power great teaching rather than replace it, provide affordable, equal access to content regardless of students’ abilities, income or lived experiences, and excite students to learn.  

We are expanding our 14,000+ catalogue of high-quality, high-interest, standards-aligned content. We are including new media types, which will bring lessons to life and teach students to be knowledgeable digital citizens. We will build and acquire features that help teachers plan and execute more effective lessons with recommendations from a huge library of trusted and vetted content. We are developing new ways to get this in the hands of students and teachers cheaper, faster, better.  

I am grateful to new investor Franklin Templeton and our existing investors TCV, Owl Ventures, Tao Capital Partners, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and Waycross Ventures, for participating in this financing and helping us make this commitment. I’m grateful to the millions of teachers, administrators, Newsela Certified Educators and Fellows, and families who have put their trust in us and pushed us to step up our game even more. And I want to shout out the 401 Newsela employees who are relentlessly committed to our mission:  meaningful classroom learning for every student. 

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