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Press Release -- June 23rd, 2020
Source: AT&T

AT&T Launching Literacy Program to Amplify Youth Voices

AT&T Launching Literacy Program to Amplify Youth Voices

AT&T and CNN are collaborating to launch Youth Voices Collective, a program to support student expression and teach writing and journalism skills at a moment when young people are looking for ways to speak out. Youth Voices Collective will provide instruction and publishing opportunities to thousands of students across the U.S., especially those in underserved communities, in collaboration with 826 National, the largest youth writing network in the country, and VOX ATL, a longtime CNN collaborator that amplifies the voices of Atlanta youth.

The program also is supporting the nationwide expansion of Six Feet of Separation, an online newspaper established in San Francisco for students to chronicle their experiences during COVID-19.

Financial support for Youth Voices Collective is part of a larger $1 million contribution AT&T is making to literacy groups through the Distance Learning & Family Connections fund. Additional organizations that will receive support include:

  • CommonSense Media ($250K): In response to the COVID-19 school closures, CommonSense Media created Wide Open School, a free and open collection of online learning experiences, activities and community services for kids and families PreK-12, many of which focus on building reading and literacy skills. Our support helped CommonSense Media scale resources to reach even more students.
  • Springboard Collaborative ($250K): Springboard Collaborative has created Springboard Connect, a web app that uses text reminders and daily tips to facilitate reading growth and habit formation. As students and teachers made the transition to online learning, our support has allowed Springboard Collaborative to grow its reach and impact.
  • Quill ($100K): Understanding that poor writing skills are a formidable barrier to college and career success, Quill helps students become strong writers and critical thinkers. With our support, Quill was able to scale their platform to reach even more young people.
  • Young Storytellers ($100K): Young Storytellers sparks creative self-discovery through storytelling. Following COVID-19, with our support, Young Storytellers was able to reach a broader audience with their online materials.
  • BookNook ($100K): BookNook, and AT&T Accelerator alumni company, is a cloud-based multilingual application that was developed to make anyone a great reading teacher. Through our support, BookNook was able to reach even more low-income and bilingual families with the mission of closing the literacy gap.

These contributions will help these organizations expand their reach and continue helping students across the country. The Distance Learning & Family Connections fund was created in response to COVID-19 to give parents, students and teachers tools for at-home learning.

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