Outschool.org is making $1M of live online classes available for free to families in need - and we need your help

Mar 30, 2020

On March 13, we launched a program to offer free Outschool classes to public school families affected by school closures. We started with $100K of classes, which we funded ourselves along with matching donors, including Zoom Video Communications, Inc.

We believed that Outschool classes could fill in gaps where school districts were unable to provide full-time remote schooling. We knew we wanted to help, but weren’t sure how the public would respond. Little did we know what the next few weeks would bring.

In just over two weeks, tens of thousands of students have had the chance to learn in Outschool’s live online classes at no cost to their families.  An even larger number of paying families joined Outschool over the same time period. These new students come from every one of the 50 states, representing thousands of different American school districts. All of this has resulted in a 10X total increase in our enrollments, and a push to find 5,000 more teachers to serve the demand.

Now we are announcing that we will make $1M of classes available for free through outschool.org. We believe this program is critical for helping many families in need, and we’re grateful that our work is relevant to so many people in this crisis. Outschool classes are live and interactive, so every class hour represents a cost in teachers’ time. This funding will enable access to more social and interactive online learning for families with limited disposable income.

To help us move forward with this not-for-profit program, we are hiring an Executive Director of Outschool.org. They will play a critical role in the Outschool community, securing funding for the short-term crisis and driving a long-term roadmap for access to live online classes for all.

To sustain this program as the crisis continues, we’re also looking for more financial support. We will need more matching donations in the next 45 days in order to keep helping families while schools are closed. With the goal of helping as many families as possible, we have limited free classes to $50 per family (about 5 hours of class time) for now.

Over the long term, we see Outschool.org as a way to narrow the digital divide by making this new format for learning available to all families. In the meantime, we need matching donations now. Every little bit helps. As an individual, consider donating to outschool.org here. As a foundation, or large donor of more than $10K, please email amir@outschool.com for more information. Thank you for your support in providing a modern learning option for families in need.

About Outschool

Outschool​ is a marketplace of live online classes for kids ages 3-18. Classes meet in small groups over live video chat where students are safely connected with teachers and classmates who share their interests. These classes are offered through our marketplace and conducted on our remote learning platform, powered by Zoom.

Live online group classes are more engaging and valuable than passive online content through being social. At the same time, they have the benefits of online learning for access and convenience. Outschool’s team and community of teachers have  more expertise in this type of learning than any other US-based organization having had 120K students attend more than 400K class hours.

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Amir Nathoo

Amir is co-founder and Head of Outschool.