Get Lit – Words Ignite Online Curriculum

This grant will support the launch of Get Lit’s Online In-School Curriculum for all students and teachers in L.A. County. Our award-winning and impactful poetry, literacy, and youth empowerment curriculum is the only program in the nation that combines learning classic literature with the creation of poems by youth. It is approved as a Univ of CA ‘A-G’ college prep elective, and has been proven to significantly raise youth literacy, reduce drop-out rates and improve graduation rates, and deeply affect students’ socio-emotional wellbeing.


In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

County of Los Angeles

LAUSD (please select only if you have a district-wide partnership or project)

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Pilot project or new program

What is the need you’re responding to?

We are responding to three urgent needs specifically regarding online curricula for L.A. students: academic rigor, structure, and connectedness. What the COVID-19 crisis has made clear is that the current offerings in distance education are often shells of classroom curricula, and do not provide students with adequate, or in some cases any, opportunity for intellectual challenges, or for feedback, discussion, and connection. Through our robust program, students improve their reading comprehension, vocabulary, and writing skills; increase critical thinking and public speaking abilities; develop greater academic engagement and self-efficacy; and build vital social skills rooted in self-awareness, confidence, personal responsibility, and compassion. We currently serve 120 southern CA schools with approximately 8,500 students. Because of our strong belief in educational equity and inclusion, our goal is to provide our life changing program to all L.A. students at this critical juncture.

Why is this project important to the work of your organization?​

Get Lit is perfectly poised for this project. We have been a leader and innovator in education for 14 years with a reputation for integrity in program implementation and effectiveness. We have a long partnership with LAUSD for delivery of our In-School Program. Our curriculum aligns with the Common Core and VAPA Standards and is Univ of CA ‘A-G’ approved. Because of its success in engaging students at risk of missing on-time graduation, LAUSD has certified our curriculum as an Intervention Course. Whereas other organizations are only beginning to ramp up online programs, we are prepared, savvy, and secure in this arena, with a vast amount of content at the ready. We are already working with tech companies Agency 39A and Extension Engine in preparation for the launch, and LAUSD is now using Flipgrid video technology to record our students’ performances. We have provided online content for youth for other partners including The California Endowment and the L.A. Dept. of Mental Health.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?​

Direct Impact: 800,000

Indirect Impact: 1,500,000

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

We will transform the format of education by improving literacy on a broad scale. This project will close the achievement gap by providing an online personalized learning experience to all students (traditional or homeschool), regardless of income or social class. It will ignite students’ love of language, provide them with tools for empowerment and success, and support college readiness. It will change the dynamics and power structures, allowing all students, including those not comfortable speaking, to share stories and engage in cross-city dialogue. It will provide socio-emotional support, facilitate connection and active civic engagement. Our plan is to offer this curriculum to all of California, followed by nationally.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.

The outcome of this project will be that the Get Lit common-core aligned curriculum is available online to all students in L.A. County. Currently, there is no similar program in existence, especially with the outreach, academic rigor, and adaptability to student needs that ours features. The online curriculum will be designed to be interactive, exciting, and engaging. It will include “Blitz” performances by our teen poetry troupe the Get Lit Players, virtual mentoring sessions, guest speakers, the Get Lit Scoremetrics app where students and teachers can see writing and performance feedback from their peers in real time, as well settings for teacher/student and student/student interactions. The app collects and analyzes evaluations, enabling teachers to record and document student growth, in both writing and performance, as well as assess the effectiveness of the curriculum. This cutting-edge curriculum will culminate in the opportunity for youth to compete in our Classic Slam. Lessons will incorporate video links, Google Docs, and Zoom sessions, offering students sequential instruction, a nimble forum for dialogues on pertinent subjects, mentorship, and support for youth who feel isolated and traumatized, especially during COVID-19. To evaluate the online program, Get Lit staff will survey teachers and students utilizing the curriculum each semester, focusing on ease of use, content quality, depth of learning, and the number of schools that are implementing the system.

Which of the LEARN metrics will your submission impact?​

Arts education

High school graduation rates

Student proficiency in English & Language Arts

Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?​

Access to the LA2050 community

Communications support

Strategy assistance and implementation