The mission of former LearnLaunch accelerator company, Quill, is to provide free online tools to help the 30 million low-income K-12 students in the U.S. who struggle with writing. In addition to not having access to the best schools, their target students have most likely grown up in a digital world, which tends to encourage speed reading while hindering comprehension and attention to detail. Quill’s website states that their four writing tools deal with writing, grammar, and proofreading skills and that they will continually develop new applications that advance student writing and thinking. True to that statement, Quill just launched two new products—Quill Connect and Quill Diagnostic. Connect helps students improve their sentence structure, and Diagnostic assesses student needs and then builds a personalized learning plan based on those needs.
Teachers from all over the country have already provided positive feedback on Quill Diagnostic, noting its ease of use, relevance to their classroom, and ability to assess diverse learners at very different reading levels. Said Virginia Miller of Connecticut, “This is great! Just what I was looking for with this website. Students are placed at my school from all around Connecticut and often times have spotty attendance/credit history so this will really help get a gauge on which students need more instruction and specifically what they need to learn/relearn!” Quill has impacted over 200,000 students and recently started working with Rocketship Education, a non-profit network of public elementary charter schools serving primarily low-income students in four U.S. regions. The team plans to roll out their program to all of the schools in the Rocketship network.
As a non-profit, says Executive Director Peter Gault, they are always fundraising. Quill recently won a grant supporting English language learners from the NewSchools Venture Fund; other such Quill partners include the Calder Foundation, Lone Pine Foundation, and Edwin Gould Foundation. To meet growing demands, the company has added two former teachers to its team—Curriculum Director Hannah Monk, who taught English to middle school students in Virginia, and junior web developer Emilia Friedberg, who taught elementary school. Within the year, they plan to launch a mobile app enabling students to use Quill on their phones and expand their content library to include science and social studies lessons.
When asked if his philosophy on entrepreneurship or education has changed at all, Gault states that it hasn’t. The mission of Quill remains to engage students in the writing process, and with their recent updates they’re able to deliver more powerful writing tools to accelerate student growth. Check out these new features at quill.org.