SAN FRANCISCO – Ignite! Reading, a rapidly growing provider of virtual tutoring services that enable K-12 schools to dramatically accelerate student reading progress, closed a $10 Million Series A round of financing, led by Rethink Education. Citadel Founder and CEO Ken Griffin and founding or current partners from Comcast Ventures, Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, Hellman & Friedman and Wing Venture Capital also participated in the financing as individual investors. The funding will be used to add more world-class professionals to Ignite’s leadership team, invest in its technology platform, and enable the company to scale its program to meet accelerating demand from schools and districts nationwide.
Ignite is helping K-12 schools reverse pandemic-related learning losses by providing struggling readers with 15 minutes a day of one-on-one virtual instruction by tutors trained in the Science of Reading. Ignite’s easy-to-implement program teaches foundational reading skills, and students recorded an average of 2.4 weeks of reading progress for every week in the program during the 2021-2022 school year. The company is now teaching students to read in over 35 schools across seven states with no achievement gap for students of color, students with IEPs, multilingual learners or students receiving free or reduced-price lunches.
“With students learning to read at twice the rate that would be expected in a traditional classroom setting, Ignite! Reading’s one-on-one, high-dosage tutoring model is not just transforming how kids are taught to read, but how literacy instruction is being operationalized in schools. Teachers love the academic results Ignite is delivering and are equally excited by the significant positive impact on students’ social emotional learning,” said Jessica Reid Sliwerski, Co-Founder and CEO of Ignite! Reading.
“Ignite! Reading is the real deal. Laser-focused on making sure every child has the foundational skills to read on time, Ignite is an extraordinary tech-forward tutoring program that consistently over-delivers on expectations,” said Matt Greenfield, Managing Partner of Rethink Education.
“By leveraging technology, data-driven instruction and individualized 1:1 tutoring, Ignite is making it easy for schools to implement the Science of Reading-based literacy instruction states now require to address the fact that 67% of fourth graders cannot read at grade level,” said Evan Marwell, Co-Founder of Ignite! Reading. “Schools love that Ignite enables them to immediately shore up students’ foundational reading skills gaps without waiting for the lengthy change management process needed to retrain teachers and switch curriculum. This latest financing round will position Ignite to supercharge reading progress for the next generation of learners.”
For more information about Ignite! Reading visit www.ignite-reading.com.
About Ignite! Reading
Ignite! Reading’s mission is to ensure that every student is an independent reader by the end of first grade. The organization was co-founded by CEO Jessica Reid Sliwerski and Evan Marwell, Executive Chairman of Ignite and CEO of EducationSuperHighway. Ignite’s program teaches 1st-8th graders the foundational skills needed to become on-grade-level, independent readers. Ignite pairs schools with a dedicated literacy specialist and a team of virtual reading tutors, all highly trained in the Science of Reading, who deliver 1:1 daily instruction to students focused on their specific decoding gaps. Ignite’s data-driven approach, provided by caring and skilled tutors, gives kids the know-how and confidence they need to thrive as fluent readers. The Ignite! Reading program, delivered 15 minutes per day during a school’s literacy block, takes the burden of differentiated instruction off of teachers and has an impact immediately.