FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ITA Contact: Michelle Cox, +1.312.924.1044, firstname.lastname@example.org
ThinkCERCA Contact: Julia Markham-Cameron, +1.312.955.0818, email@example.com
CHICAGO (August 14, 2015) — ThinkCERCA, an online literacy platform designed to empower teachers to personalize literacy instruction across disciplines, has been selected as a finalist for Illinois Technology Association’s 2015 ITA CityLIGHTS Outstanding Technology Development Award. This nomination recognizes ThinkCERCA’s commitment to using technology to help teachers spark critical thinking and writing in the classroom.
Founded by Eileen Murphy Buckley and Abby Ross in 2012, ThinkCERCA has spent the last three years helping teachers deliver effective literacy instruction across disciplines. Its approach, grounded in over 30 years of University of Chicago research, has proven to increase student growth in reading, writing and critical thinking skills. In one school, using ThinkCERCA to focus on close reading and argumentative writing improved eighth grade reading scores by 46 percentiles in one year. The Outstanding Technology Development Award, which recognizes companies and organizations who develop a technology tool, process or service that made a substantial improvement on business metrics, honors ThinkCERCA’s application of practical technology in the classroom.
A panel of accomplished judges, consisting of elite innovators in Illinois technology, reviewed nominations to select the finalists. This year’s judges hail from major organizations including Google, Optiver, Sprout Social, Groupon and World Business Chicago, among others.
“We are honored that the judges of the 16th Annual ITA CityLIGHTS Awards have recognized our innovation and achievements by selecting us as a finalist for this year’s program,” said Eileen Murphy, CEO and founder of ThinkCERCA. “We’re in good company among this group of finalists, and we look forward to connecting with our peers and fellow nominees at the September 17 event.”
“Our CityLIGHTS Awards is all about showcasing great companies and individuals doing extraordinary things,” said ITA CEO Fred Hoch. “Having ThinkCERCA in this year’s finalists’ pool proves just that.”
The public can contribute to the selection of this year’s winners by voting from August 10 through August 28 at itacitylights.com. Winners will be determined by composite score (50 percent judges; 50 percent community voting) in all categories except the CityLIGHTS Award, which is determined solely by the ITA Board of Directors. The winners for each of the eight categories will be announced at the ITA CityLIGHTS Awards event on Thursday, September 17 at Morgan Manufacturing in Chicago.
ThinkCERCA’s personalized literacy platform helps teachers unleash students’ critical reading and writing powers. With nearly 200,000 students using its platform in 30 states and 130 countries, the company has partnered with prominent leaders in education, including Follett Corporation, and has been featured by The Atlantic, Education Week, and EdSurge. In July 2013, ThinkCERCA was the recipient of a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Literacy Courseware Challenge grant, and in December 2012, graduated from the inaugural class of Impact Engine’s social impact accelerator. To learn more, please visit www.ThinkCERCA.com.
The Illinois Technology Association (ITA) is a business services organization dedicated to growing technology companies. ITA provides strategic programming, consulting and resources, enabling its members to grow, build and elevate their business. For more information, visit illinoistech.org, follow @ITAbuzz on Twitter or find us on LinkedIn.