For Immediate Release
January 24, 2023 -- Princeton, NJ – Learning Ally, a national nonprofit partnering with educators to solve the literacy crisis, has won the 2023 CMX Community Industry Award for Best Growth Marketing Community for its thriving Educator Community.
The CMX Community Industry Awards celebrates the achievements of the best in the community space. This category recognizes exceptional efforts in innovative strategies used to drive growth and engagement among members.
Elizabeth Zwerg, Learning Ally’s Educator Community Manager, was a finalist for “Best Executive Leader” for her work building an internal, employee-driven “Sunshine Committee” that empowers champions for the Educator Community. This internal group drives collaboration, engagement, and fosters a sense of community for Learning Ally’s mission to close the literacy gap.
“The Sunshine Committee is a place of connection. It's where our staff forges lasting connections with educators who are the agents of change. At Learning Ally, we live our values, and we place a high value on education, literacy and especially educators,” says Eleanor Cotton, Learning Ally’s Director of Community and Thought Leadership.
Learning Ally’s Educator Community connects educators of all titles, roles and responsibilities in a safe and collaborative network where they can share best instructional practices in literacy and recognize the achievements of fellow educators. Now, in its second year, a guiding principle of the Educator Community is that all educators are welcome.
Dr. Terrie Noland, Learning Ally’s Vice President of Educator Initiatives, said, “This is an honor for our organization, and for our Community team. Learning Ally’s mission is to support educators to be the best they can be so they can improve academic achievement and ensure students reach their full potential. Our Community is an extension of that mission – supporting personal and professional knowledge, encouraging a growth mindset in evidence-based literacy practices, and making new connections."
Members of Learning Ally's Educator Community, now 6,100 educators strong with another 5,300 members on Instagram, are from different towns and cities, from urban and rural schools, and from big and small districts. They come together as one community with an unbreakable bond – to empower each other, educate children, and hone their craft of teaching and leading.
Ms. Zwerg says, “It is exciting to have our efforts acknowledged. Our community is truly an ecosystem with many points of access. Educators draw support from each other and they identify new ways to enhance their instruction. There are communities that focus solely on instructional practices, without acknowledging that teachers are people. Our community is unique because all interactions, content, and framework is developed with the mindset that teachers are the ultimate thought leaders. Meaningful change in education begins with teachers, and our members know we are always in their corner. They become influencers, mentors, dreamers and doers.”
In U.S. schools, Learning Ally works with more than 450,000 educators to improve reading outcomes for students who struggle with learning disabilities and reading deficits. The organization’s Solutions in PreK-12 are grounded in the science of reading and brain-based learning, with an emphasis on Whole Child Literacy.™ This teaching philosophy prioritizes the developmental and personal needs of children, in addition to their academic achievement. Whole Child Literacy™ includes a student’s cognitive variables, their environment, and social and emotional factors that impact their ability to learn and succeed.
Ms. Zwerg adds, “Staying true to our non-profit roots, Learning Ally’s Educator Community is open to all educators – including those who do not use our products or professional services. By connecting educators from diverse backgrounds and perspectives, we can create a more inclusive and effective education system.”
Read this blog about the research behind why teachers need community.
About Learning Ally
Learning Ally is a leading education nonprofit dedicated to equipping educators with proven solutions that help new and struggling learners reach their potential. Our range of literacy-focused offerings for students in Pre-K to 12th grade and catalog of professional learning allows us to support more than two million students across the United States.