The Juice Learning announced the launch of its innovative learning platform for grades 5-12 that brings today’s news into the classroom, fosters a love of reading, builds media literacy skills, and prepares students to become tomorrow’s leaders.
The Juice, published five days a week, teaches critically important civics lessons as fresh as the day’s headlines, helping lay the foundation for active, lifelong participation in democracy. Each day, students receive a vibrant mix of original news articles, vocabulary builders, standards-aligned quizzes, infographics, deep dives on important topics and issues, and educational STEAM videos.
Studies have confirmed that The Juice dramatically improves students’ reading comprehension skills and knowledge of major U.S. and world news, while boosting students’ confidence.
The Juice’s robust, data-driven dashboard provides teachers real-time, detailed reports and insights on student performance based on Common Core and state-specific standards. This enables teachers to quickly identify which students have engaged with the platform and which have mastered key learning objectives, as well as those students requiring intervention.
Award-winning journalists join with veteran educators on the Juice team to carefully select and write the day’s news stories. The team works into the night to deliver by 6 a.m. each morning a rich mix of five original articles on a wide range of topics – from major U.S. and world news, the economy and environment, to scientific discoveries, civics, the arts, and inspirational stories highlighting exemplary moral character and the heroes among us. In addition, each issue has at least one thoroughly researched, 600- to 1,000-word supplement that provides context and background to help students understand complex issues. To encourage students to read for pleasure, the Juice also regularly features Young Adult book reviews.
Students and teachers have access to The Juice’s easily searchable, vast archive of thousands of Juice articles and the supplements, instantly providing valuable context for subjects across the curriculum.
Guided by its educators, The Juice makes even the most complex news understandable and accessible to all its readers, by crafting its content for four separate reading levels based on well-established readability indexes. To increase equity in the classroom, The Juice ensures students have access to the same information regardless of their reading ability by providing the same content at four different reading levels.
This, teachers say, opens whole new worlds for younger students and struggling readers, as current events, normally written for adults, suddenly become accessible to them. Students beam as they’re empowered to hold intelligent conversations about the news of the day with their teachers, their fellow students, and their parents.
Unlike other newsletters and websites for students, The Juice does not simply post major news outlets’ stories or verbatim passages from them. Rather, Juice journalists and educators create all original news content for each issue.
The Juice rises above the rampant bias that pervades social media and even some mainstream media, at a time when commentary and political screeds too often masquerade as news. The Juice, by contrast, produces balanced news stories that students, teachers, and parents can trust.
“We teach children to decipher the noise from objective journalism, helping them become well-informed, engaged, and empathetic citizens,” said Nathan Leight, founder of The Juice Learning. “These days, students get information with a couple of keystrokes, but they’re bombarded with bias, noise, and misinformation. When you ask kids, ‘How do you get the news?’ They tell you from social media. That’s why critical thinking and media literacy is so important. Our goal is to teach children not what to think, but how to think.”
Educators who build lessons around The Juice attest that it stimulates lively discussions about the news, while advancing their development of vitally important learning skills and teaching them how to critically evaluate media coverage.
Mitchell Bickman, K-12 Director of Social Studies at the Oceanside (New York) Unified School District, said The Juice proved an immediate hit among students, riveting their attention and sparking intense interest in current events. Reading comprehension and reasoning skills also swiftly improved, he said.
“Even without prompting, students sat down and opened their Juice newsletter, and after a few minutes, lively discussion ensued, and the students shared thoughtful, informed contributions on what they had just read,” Mr. Bickman said. “This level of engagement and interest in the news exemplifies how powerful a resource The Juice can be.”
Other teachers praised The Juice for how easily it enables them to deliver engrossing and highly educational lessons that go well beyond the traditional curriculum, and then quickly assess students’ progress. “The Juice is simple to use, gives me easy access to data on students’ progress, and the current events articles give us plenty to discuss. I highly recommend The Juice!” said Laura Steinbrink, a high school teacher in Waynesville, Missouri.
Brendan Kells, vice president for education at The Juice Learning, pointed out that a wide range of research demonstrates that current events-based learning raises students’ standardized test scores and weaves lessons across subjects. “We have long known that incorporating current events into teaching not only brings dramatic progress in critical skills, but also breaks down the silos between subjects that often exist in schools and provides real-world education that helps students develop a lifelong passion for following the news.”
The Juice’s success certainly bears out just how much its current events-based platform rapidly improves student progress. Two studies found that just a month after teachers incorporated The Juice into classes, students’ reading comprehension skills improved an average of 26.5% and knowledge of current events and civics, by an average of 18.5% on standardized tests. The studies involved middle and high school students with widely varying skill levels, learning styles, and family incomes. The students resided in Alabama, Connecticut, Florida and New York. In both studies, the average student was in the 8th grade, and the students were roughly evenly split across the two sexes. In contrast to the first study, the overwhelming majority of students in the follow-up study were from predominantly Title I schools.
The Juice, published by The Juice Learning, a privately held company based in Miami. The Juice is America’s only daily educational product that features original content produced by veteran journalists and educators. Harvard College alumnus and entrepreneur Nathan Leight, the father of four children, founded the company to fulfill a critical need among students: providing objective, well-researched news, at a time when social media inundates them with a nonstop deluge of biased coverage, falsehoods, and at times, dangerous extremism. Leight sees The Juice’s mission not only as a way to imbue in schoolchildren a healthy appetite for daily news, a prerequisite to becoming engaged, articulate, and well-informed citizens, but also to build critical reasoning skills, improve reading comprehension and media literacy, and expand vocabulary. Research shows The Juice has dramatically improved students’ reading comprehension and knowledge of current events, while boosting confidence.
For more information about The Juice, or to sign up for your free trial subscription, visit The Juice Learning.