BOSTON – Global learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) announced today a partnership with education nonprofit City Year to launch HMH Classroom Corps, a unique multi-tiered program that provides employees with opportunities to connect with teachers and students in schools across the United States. Part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility program, HMH Classroom Corps will connect employees with local City Year chapters to host Learning Forums—interactive events focused on helping students build literary and math skills through hands-on activities.
In March, HMH employees across three offices participated in the inaugural Learning Forums at P.S. 75 School of Research and Discovery in New York City, the Lake View YMCA in Chicago, and the Curtis Guild Elementary School in Boston. Volunteers guided elementary school students through literacy and STEM activities, including assembling geometric shapes using marshmallows and toothpicks, conducting volcano experiments, and performing short plays from HMH’s Readers’ Theater collection. Each student was able to select from hundreds of donated HMH books to take home.
“Connecting with customers is core to HMH’s culture and business,” said Bianca Olson, HMH’s senior vice president of corporate affairs, who joined the efforts in Boston. “Our employees are passionate about giving back to their communities, and Classroom Corps provides new opportunities to for them work directly with students, teachers and schools. Our partnership weaves together City Year’s in-school engagement with HMH’s goal to improve student outcomes with holistic solutions.”
“The Learning Forum provided a great opportunity to get out of the office and connect with the students and teachers in our community,” said Krishna Ramudit, associate digital product manager at HMH, who volunteered at the Boston Learning Forum. “The kids were incredibly enthusiastic and I, along with all of the volunteers, had a great time helping them learn, create and read. It was a refreshing reminder of why we work hard every day to impact schools and improve student outcomes.”
“When we bring people in from the community to interface directly with our students it sends them the message that they are important, and that learning continues beyond the school day,” said Karen McCarthy, principal of Boston’s Guild Elementary School. “It helps engage them in content from the curriculum in different ways. Building our own community partnerships with City Year, and then having their partners like HMH come in and see and join the work they do – all of that breeds more community, engagement and joy within our school.”
HMH and City Year will continue to host customized programs throughout the year, including a second round of Learning Forums in the fall. Additionally, remote employees and those in offices not located near City Year locations will receive resources and customized support to volunteer in their local schools. City Year’s AmeriCorps members will also have the option to participate in professional development and mentoring programs with HMH employees, many of whom are former educators.
Corporate Social Responsibility at HMH focuses on improving educational outcomes for PreK-12 students in underserved communities through a combination of volunteerism, in-kind donations and strategic nonprofit partnerships. Employees are empowered and encouraged to make a positive impact and connect with the students, educators and families HMH serves.
About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (NASDAQ:HMHC) is a global learning company committed to delivering integrated solutions that engage learners, empower educators and improve student outcomes. As a leading provider of K–12 core curriculum, supplemental solutions and professional learning services, HMH partners with educators and school districts to uncover solutions that unlock students’ potential and extend teachers’ capabilities. HMH serves more than 50 million students and 3 million educators in150 countries, while its award-winning children's books, novels, non-fiction, and reference titles are enjoyed by readers throughout the world. For more information, visit www.hmhco.com.
About City Year
City Year helps students and schools succeed. Fueled by national service, City Year partners with public schools in 28 urban, high-need communities across the U.S. and through international affiliates in the U.K. and Johannesburg, South Africa. Diverse teams of City Year AmeriCorps members provide research-based student, classroom and school-wide supports to help students stay in school and on track to graduate from high school, ready for college and career success. A 2015 study shows that schools that partner with City Year were up to two to three times more likely to improve on math and English assessments. A proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network, City Year is supported by the Corporation for National and Community Service, local school districts, and private philanthropy from corporations, foundations and individuals. Learn more at www.cityyear.org, City Year’s Facebook page, on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Senior Communications Manager, HMH
Vice President, Communications, City Year