In the spring of 2016, CommonLit.org was a collection of about 100 individual PDF reading lessons that English teachers could download and use with their students. Despite its humble start, I had a big vision.
Today, more than 2.8 million registered teachers and students have access to over 1,000 lessons in literature, poetry and nonfiction. Each CommonLit lesson comes with tools to support struggling readers and free data reports to help teachers track student progress over time.
I came to the AT&T Aspire team with a simple pitch: Create the best reading and writing program in America and make it available for free so that even the most vulnerable students could access it online.
With financial support and advising from the AT&T Aspire Accelerator for ed-tech start-ups, my co-founder Sarah Robertson and I created CommonLit Digital. We launched it in September 2016. “AT&T set us up for massive growth. And it was the spark we needed to build the tool and ultimately make our vision a reality,” said Sarah, CommonLit’s Chief Product Officer.
A few short months after the AT&T Aspire Accelerator ended, the first
A few months after the launch,
Today, more than 2.8 million registered teachers and students have access to over 1,000 lessons in literature, poetry
Throughout our success, we remained true to our original mission of delivering services at no cost to teachers and students. As a nonprofit, we have the freedom to focus on impact rather than returns. That is why we could build a tool specifically designed to meet the needs of low-income classrooms.
Today, 73% of
CommonLit is still on a high-growth trajectory. Our goal is to serve 20 million students by 2020. Our team is proud to pave the way for other ed-tech startups with the AT&T Aspire Accelerator.