ThinkCERCA Wins National Grant To Expand Literacy Courseware

Aug 01, 2013, 13:00 ET from ThinkCERCA

CHICAGO, August 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- E-learning company ThinkCERCA is expanding its online tools and lesson library to teach critical thinking and literacy to young readers, with the help of a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The $250,000 grant will help the Chicago-based organization build an online library of lessons for students in grades 4-8.


"In the 21st century, students must be able to apply argumentation skills, analyze, evaluate and create solutions to complex problems," said founder and CEO Eileen Murphy, former Director of Curriculum and Instruction for more than 100 of Chicago's top-performing schools. "This grant will allow us to develop broader tools to help teachers personalize learning for students."

ThinkCERCA's curriculum and tools teach critical thinking and literacy skills that are essential to the Common Core State Standards and to success in life. The online platform allows teachers to design, share, deliver and assess lessons using the CERCA argumentation framework: claim, evidence, reasoning, counterargument and audience. Students can move at their own pace through online lessons that emphasize reading critically and collaborating with peers.

More than 30 schools are already using ThinkCERCA's framework, which includes a subscription-based library of lessons designed by expert teachers. Through the new grant, the organization will soon host a CERCAthon for master teachers to create and share lessons. To apply for the event, visit

The Literacy Courseware Challenge awarded grants to organizations that are using adaptive digital learning tools to extend teachers' reach. ThinkCERCA delivers the tools and content teachers need to design personalized critical thinking lessons, engage students in peer-to-peer collaboration through argumentation, and track student progress in expressing critical thinking across disciplines.

"We realize that technology has to be part of the solution for improving education for all students," said Abby Ross, ThinkCERCA's co-founder and vice president of marketing and operations. "By using authentic texts on debatable topics to teach argumentation skills, our platform truly prepares students for career and college readiness."

For more about ThinkCERCA and its learning tools, visit or email

ThinkCERCA is a Chicago-based company passionately committed to improving the quality of K-12 education by providing students, teachers and schools with tools they need to achieve career and college readiness in the 21st century. The research-based method is proven to raise achievement and improve writing across disciplines. The online platform allows teachers to design, deliver and assess lessons using a framework that walks students through the process of argumentation. Guided by a team of nationally recognized literacy experts, the company's mission is to deliver engaging, rigorous and personalized literacy instruction for every student, in every class, every day. For more information, go to

Media Contact:
Abby Ross
VP of Marketing & Operations
(314) 276-8151