Informing Citizens of Tomorrow: How Discovery Education Connects with Classrooms

Mar 1, 2018 12:35 PM ET

For businesses, doing “social good” yields more benefits than positive PR. When corporations collaborate to advance a mission, such as engaging young learners in science or preventing drug misuse, they are opening up doors of opportunity for future customers, employees and partners.

For Discovery Education, partnerships that drive social impact in classrooms are a key component of our mission to improve learning for K-12 students. Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, and transforms teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development and the largest professional learning community of its kind.

Each of our social impact initiatives touches the lives of students inside and outside of the classroom. Beyond the satisfaction associated with this work, each classroom initiative builds more informed citizens of tomorrow.

Shaping critical thinkers

Classroom-focused Discovery Education Corporate Education Partnerships programs cover a range of topics, from anti-bullying to college preparation. Regardless of each initiative’s focus, these programs typically offer an opportunity for students to learn about specific topics through reading, writing, speaking and listening. All of these activities enable students to apply critical thinking skills to their world beyond the school day.  

Teaching students to apply literacy skills to a social issue, career path or life choice makes them better problem-solvers, critical thinkers and effective collaborators. This means they’re more equipped to join the workforce, potentially even as your next generation of employees. This week, Discovery Education is highlighting key resources across our programmatic offerings that allow educators to focus on topics in interdisciplinary education, including literacy.

Rolling literacy into your program plans

To ensure that students are getting the most out of instruction, our programs provide strategies and resources for students to develop literacy skills by using both written and visual texts. For example, students can analyze and evaluate evidence to support claims, use sentence frameworks to organize their thoughts, determine the credibility of resources, and explore topics using multiple perspectives, enabling them to communicate their thinking.

For programs that are strictly focused on academic initiatives, literacy and critical thinking practices seamlessly fit into the resources. For example, our Ignite My Future In School partnership aims to transform the way students across America learn through computational thinking. The curricular resources enable students to gather and analyze information, and to examine the judgement they use to determine the accuracy of what they are studying. All of the resources aim to reframe how students interact with text and data.

In addition to traditional reading and writing activities, social impact programs can immerse students in more visual texts. Dig Into Mining, our program that provides students with a deeper understanding about the professions found in the mining industry, offers the opportunity to study complex texts, synthesize information, and propose new techniques and innovations in the industry.

Even encouraging students to share what they have learned through your programming promotes literacy uptake while immersing them in your program content. For example, Science Fair Central, which STEAM-powers classrooms and homes across the country to prepare students for careers of tomorrow, asks students to create an innovative solution using feedback they have collected from peers.

Beyond traditional K-12 subjects

Of course, not all programs focus on traditional, core K-12 topics, like science. A program might focus on unique career paths, mental health or specific sports. All of these programs still yield the opportunity to develop literacy skills, and in fact could be the only opportunity children have to extend literacy learning in those areas during their formative years.

Financial literacy and health literacy are two areas that could stand to have more robust coverage in K-12 schools. Resources from our Super Health, Super You program encourage students to begin conversations about health and rethink their lifestyle choices. Operation Prevention, our program that provides information on the dangers of opioid misuse among students in grades 3-12, drives health literacy through a wide range of resources, including a national peer-to-peer video challenge. Building these critical health literacy skills in 3-12 will enable students to grow into healthier, better informed adults.

Along the same lines of improving students’ thinking skills, career-driven initiatives can offer students a new perspective on an industry. Through programming like Discovering Farmland, which engages urban youth with a first-hand glimpse into modern agriculture, students can investigate information about a career path, considering multiple perspectives in order to draw their own conclusions.

Reframing the future

Working with K-12 districts provides businesses the opportunity to make a lasting impact on future workers, decision-makers and world-changers. With an additional focus on literacy skills within these programs, we can give students resources beyond the simple information a program wants to impart. Students can move forward with the ability to make well-informed, thought-through decisions for the rest of their lives.

About Discovery Education

Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content and professional development for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content that supports the implementation of Common Core, professional development, assessment tools, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at