Happy New Year from the Great Books Foundation!

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice . . .
And to make an end is to make a beginning.”

—T. S. Eliot

The past year has been a challenge for all of us. We have had to get used to Zoom calls, adapt to learning online, and keep socially distanced as we try to maintain the ties that bind us together.

Despite these challenges, the Great Books Foundation has continued its mission to provide teachers and students with a learning experience that promotes civil discourse, fosters critical thinking, and provides meaningful social interaction. During this difficult year, we were still able to help 4,300 schools use our program and train 2,941 teachers. We impacted the lives of more than 88,000 children.

In addition to our normal operations, we rallied to address learning gaps and social needs during the global pandemic by:

  • Giving away more than 29,000 free licenses for our K–5 digital materials to students and teachers looking to provide meaningful content for remote learning
  • Hosting free online discussions for students and adults to give them the opportunity to engage with their peers in a meaningful way
  • Offering free K–12 lesson plans and open educational resources to over 2,600 educators and parents
  • Creating the Junior Great Books Virtual Academy to help prevent K–8 students from losing gains in reading comprehension amidst COVID-19–related school closures

We are humbled and awed by the dedication and service of our nation’s teachers and the students who have weathered the new challenges to their learning. I am extremely thankful to the Great Books Foundation staff and all of the work they accomplished this year to support and assist schools.

We are hopeful for the New Year. The promise of a fresh start. The promise of a vaccine that may allow us all to return to normal. The challenges of 2020 are not behind us, but with dedication, sound thinking, and hope, we can forge ahead and double our efforts to be civil, productive citizens.

President & CEO Valentina Texera-Parissi has committed her career to promoting literacy, developing professional education for teachers, and fostering lifelong learning. As President and Chief Executive Officer of the Great Books Foundation, Valentina leads the Foundation’s efforts to expand and strengthen inquiry-based learning, advocacy, and leadership. Building upon the Foundation’s 70-year history of helping people of all ages think critically, listen closely, and consider contrasting ideas with civility, Valentina believes that an inquiry-based approach is essential not only for learning but also for leadership.