On March 13, 2020, life as we knew it changed. Now, years later, K-12 educators are facing the impact of the pandemic-related challenges that significantly affect students’ academic and mental well-being. School leaders are looking beyond the crisis and exploring opportunities to fundamentally change the education experience.

Tap into ESSER Funds

At the start of the pandemic, the U.S. federal government ushered in unprecedented federal funding to districts and schools. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act determined the definitions and parameters for allowable expenses seen in all three Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds and designed the distribution to follow the Title I funding formula. This first round of funding was designed to provide schools with immediate relief.

The second round, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act, allows schools to earmark some funds for rebuilding and transitioning purposes. The most recent round of ESSER funding through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act is your district’s opportunity to dream big.

Impact Outcomes with Gale

Because student success begins with teacher success, educators are at the heart of everything we do. Gale provides instructional materials that make it easier for educators to meet students where they are, while the educators themselves experience professional growth and prioritize their own self-care.

Today, this includes supporting everything from unfinished learning and SEL to prioritizing equity and inclusion goals. Together, we can foster an environment where students thrive, beyond the pandemic.

  • Bridge Back to Normal and Beyond with ESSER Funds

    The ARP Act mandates that school districts “shall reserve not less than 20 percent of such funds to address learning loss through the implementation of evidence-based interventions, such as summer learning or summer enrichment, extended day, comprehensive after school programs, or extended school year programs, and ensure that such interventions respond to students’ academic, social, and emotional needs and address the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus on the student subgroups described.” The additional 80 percent of funds can be used on any non-evidence-based solution that an educator believes will achieve their goals.

    That’s why thousands of districts are turning to Gale to maximize their COVID-19 ARP ESSER funds with digital K-12 resources that recover unfinished learning, support SEL, provide professional development, enhance instruction, improve literacy, emphasize Career and Technology Education (CTE), and align with their existing technology infrastructure.

  • Recover Unfinished Learning

    Learning loss, lost learning, or unfinished learning—regardless of the term, we acknowledge that students have lost a lot. Upper-elementary students and those transitioning into middle school appear to be struggling the most.1 As schools continue to face pandemic-related challenges, getting students back on track is a top priority.

    According to an Education Week article, researchers and educators believe that bridging back to normal requires a commitment to grade-level teaching, tutoring, strategies to engage students, and above all, a strong curriculum.For many districts, that has meant focusing on core competency-based standards; supplementing with relevant, trustworthy content; and differentiating instruction. 

    Gale’s educational digital resources, like Gale In Context, offer equitable access to engaging content that can be integrated into existing workflows. With leveled content and comprehensive tools to accommodate multiple learning modes, educators can personalize instruction and meet learners where they are.



  • Support Social and Emotional Learning

    The ARP Act asks that districts reserve ESSER funds to respond to the social and emotional needs of students with evidence-based interventions. 

    Mental Health and Wellness

    Gale continues to partner with SEL experts, like the Cameron K. Gallagher (CKG) Foundation. This organization cultivates awareness, education, empathy, and understanding toward the depression and anxiety many kids experience.

    Inspired by our collaboration, Gale offers SEL collections, including Cameron’s Camp for Wellness, Cameron’s Collection, and the Administrator and Teacher Self-Care Collection. Each robust collection features age-appropriate Gale eBooks to help learners of all ages better understand mental health issues, find support, and develop coping skills. Educators and students can privately cross-search, translate, and share mental health resources at school or at home. The collections are good for the well-being of your students and your school budget. You own the titles after you purchase them and can add titles as they become available to meet the evolving needs of your students and educators.

    Soft Skills and Social Development

    Students’ social needs extend beyond support for their mental health. Social development embedded in everyday curriculum is critical for students to build essential soft skills including resilience in the face of challenges, empathy and understanding of others’ points of view, respectful communication, and cooperative problem-solving. Soft skills provide a foundation for student success not only in grades K to 12, but also in college, career, and life. In school, growth mindset fosters curiosity and inquiry, helping students stretch, discover, and learn new information while adapting to setbacks. As students enter the workplace, the social awareness, communication, and cooperation skills they have built signal to employers that they have the emotional intelligence required for today’s increasingly global and collaborative workplace cultures.

    Educators know that soft skills and social awareness are most effectively developed when integrated into day-to-day instruction to foster students’ academic growth. That’s where Gale can help.

    Gale In Context: For Educators helps teachers seamlessly incorporate soft skills development directly into academic learning. For Educators custom lessons specifically target student inquiry skills across the curriculum, while promoting social awareness and cooperation through collaborative learning activities. This curriculum and instruction tool also gives teachers easy access to diverse resources representing a variety of perspectives to incorporate in their lessons, helping them create a culturally responsive classroom that fosters student inclusion and belonging.

    With Gale Presents: Imago, you can help your school community address the urgent need for an engaging curriculum to support social-emotional development and build the soft skills needed for twenty-first-century careers. This online, video-based curriculum platform provides digital lessons in three critical areas: social-emotional learning, career readiness, and soft skills.




  • Increase Engagement and Deliver Essential Skills

    According to a recent study, 92 percent of the district administrators surveyed believed that the effective use of technology in the class leads to greater student success.3 As educators rebuild and reimagine education after the pandemic, effective digital resources that accelerate learning and improve student outcomes continue to be essential.

    Gale In Context: For Educators is a digital curriculum and instructional resource that helps teachers ignite students’ passions and promote inquiry. For Educators increases student engagement with relevant, standards-aligned content; rich lesson plans that integrate soft skills and social development; and tools for differentiation and accessibility—all with built-in checks for understanding to track student progress and quickly close gaps.

    But don’t just take our word for it. Gale partnered with McREL International, a nonprofit education research organization, to evaluate Gale In Context: For Educators. McREL’s findings show that For Educators is designed to produce the outcomes schools need, and it has a research basis that supports pathways of change. Explore the brief, which meets the requirements of the Tier 4 ESSA rating and provides evidence to support the purchase of this instructional resource with ESSER funds.  


  • Provide On-Demand Professional Development

    The ARP Act provides funds specifically authorized for professional development (PD). According to an Education Week article, COVID-19 has driven the need for PD resources that help to “keep teachers agile as learning environments shift between in person and digital, and as more products are rolled out.”4

    Student outcomes are significantly impacted by the actions of educators. Why not help educators prepare for new challenges with Gale’s evidence-based approach to professional conversations? Gale eBooks: Professional Learning collections put the expert content your teachers need and want in one place.

    Along with the well-being of teams, Gale eBooks benefits your school’s bottom line. You own the titles after you purchase them and can instantly add collections to your digital bookshelf to meet the evolving needs of your district throughout the school year.

    Each collection brings together titles from our trusted publisher partners, like ASCD, Corwin, ISTE, and Solution Tree—with unlimited, simultaneous access to titles. The award-winning platform allows users to access, cross-search, and share content from many of the top authors whose subject matter aligns with personal and district-wide initiatives. They address the topics that matter most, such as differentiation, supporting all students, culturally responsive teaching, social and emotional needs, and high-quality literacy instruction.




  • Improve Reading Outcomes

    Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, national reading scores found 68 percent of 4th graders and 70 percent of 8th graders were reading below grade level.6 These rates have likely worsened due to temporary school closures in recent years.

    Children learn best when there are fewer barriers to learning. Gale In Context: Elementary supports young readers who may need extra support due to learning disruptions during key years of their education. The kid-friendly interface draws kids in with colorful images and easy-to-navigate topic pages, all to instill confidence at a young age. Learners can follow along to highlighted text as the words are read out loud, and they can go at their own pace. And now, with K-5 eBooks available within the Gale In Context: Elementary platform, it’s even easier for kids to access all of their elementary resources in one place. 

    Another valuable resource is large print books from Thorndike Press; the books offer a combination of a larger font and increased white space to improve reading fluency, decoding, speed, and tracking ease. In the height of digital fatigue, large print gives students a break from online learning. It’s a no-tech reading intervention tool that can easily be woven into your summer reading program. There are more than 700 large print titles to choose from, with new additions monthly. Select from bestsellers, classics, curriculum-aligned, award-winning, and topical titles.


  • Engage Students through CTE

    America’s public schools have lost at least 1.2 million students since 2020, according to a recently published national survey. State enrollment figures show no sign of a rebound to the previous national levels anytime soon. In approved ARP ESSER state plans, some states have identified expanding CTE opportunities as a strategy in their state-level efforts to return students to the classroom safely, engage them in learning, and equitably address the disruptions to teaching and learning caused by the pandemic.

    Heres where Gale Presents: Imago can help by driving learning engagement with student-centered curriculum. Asking students to learn information or a skill they’ll use in the distant future is a challenging request. The answer to the popular question “When am I going to use this?” has to be tailored for today. Students who are presented with an SEL curriculum will gain a better understanding of their future options, will be able to apply the skills they’ve learned immediately, and will have more motivation to learn. According to Kristen McKenna, director of college and career readiness at Madera Unified School District, “IMAGO has ideas that really fit what we wanted with a very creative approach. With IMAGO, we’re able to give our students custom lessons that are relatable to their hometown while still being able to teach them about CTE and emotional intelligence.”

    Beyond the classroom, students need dependable guidance and tools on jobs, careers, and education. With Gale Presents: Peterson’s Career and Test Prep, students are given essential tools to help make the most of the opportunities out there in both the academic and business world. Petersons resources give students in-depth information on colleges and universities and help them practice for preparatory entrance exams like the ACT or SAT. They also grant access to resumé and cover letter building tools, act as tutorials to help students identify the most-suitable industries and occupations, and provide answers to just about any career-related question. 

    Career and Technology Education (CTE) teachers want to go digital, but they may not be sure where to start. Building on the foundation of Gale In Context digital resources and your school’s student-facing Gale eBooksGale In Context: For Educators gives teachers tools to be successful. With lesson plans to support CTE programs, integrating this trusted content into instruction is easier than ever.

    Gale offers eBook alignments for the 16 career clusters from the Association for Career and Technical Education. With so many career possibilities, it can be challenging for students to decide on a path to follow. That’s where Gale eBooks can be a big help. The CTE-focused titles cover a variety of jobs and fields for all school levels, as well as titles focused on military, technology, medical, environmental careers, and others.

  • Align with Technology Infrastructure

    Digitalization fosters a more collaborative environment and increases efficiency in how materials are prepared and distributed. Recognizing this, Gale has developed products and resources that are simultaneously accessible for multiple users—integrating with learning management systems (LMS), ERMS, integrated library system (ILS) platforms, and more—helping to bridge the gap from the library to class to home.

    Our proprietary search user interface (UI) focuses the experience on the data points needed to help identify content relevant to their needs, encouraging critical evaluation and selection. From there, the workflow tools provide greater access to content with translation, readability and citation tools, highlights, notes, and LMS integration.





  • Sources

    1. Sparks, Sarah D. Pandemic Learning Loss Heavier in Math Than Reading This Fall, But Questions Remain,” Education Week, December 1, 2020.

    2. Shafer, Stephanie. “Overcoming COVID-19 Learning Loss,” Education Week, August 19, 2020. 

    3. Based on the report “Turn Database Access into Action,” from a 2018–2019 nationwide study conducted by Project Tomorrow® in partnership with Gale, prat of Cengage Group, to determine the efficacy of using Kids InfoBits for elementary students and Gale In Context for middle and high school students to support learning outcomes. Project Tomorrow is a federally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a 23-year history of supporting innovation in K-12 education through research and school-based programs.

    4. Bradley, Brian. “Supplemental Curriculum Providers Say Demand Is Booming. What’s Driving It? Ed Week Market Brief, March 18, 2021. 

    5. National Assessment of Educational Progress. The Nation’s Report Card 2019 (October 2020), retrieved October 16, 2020.

Information regarding ESSER funds will be updated as the U.S. government, U.S. Department of Education, and other entities’ plans evolve.