One Million Adult Learners Nationwide to Receive Free Mobile Literacy and Work Readiness Courses


PALO, ALTO, CA–Mobile-first learning company Cell-Ed announced today that it will provide free access to its skill-building courses in subjects including reading, math, and work readiness, along with live education coaches and easy-to-read COVID-19 guides to one million adults over any mobile device, with no internet service required, through the end of 2020.

In the U.S., a staggering 36 million adults possess low literacy skills. Over 8 million of these adults struggle to read even short texts to locate information. These adults are put at greater risk within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic as they likely have reduced access to information on how to protect their families and themselves.

As low-literate and low-income adults are currently cut off from online remote learning and life-saving information about COVID-19 because they lack internet access, computers and smartphones, this already disproportionately impacted population is struggling to continue to learn and stay safe.


“Cell-Ed’s 1 Million Learner Challenge” specifically targets low-skilled, marginalized communities—including essential workers—with support from official partners including the State of New York Office for New Americans, the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

“One in five adults in the U.S. cannot read at a time when interpreting life-saving health announcements and applying for a job in the most competitive employment market in generations depends on it,” said Jessica Rothenberg-Aalami, CEO and founder of Cell-Ed. “I am profoundly grateful to our literacy-leading partners for enabling Cell-Ed to launch this Challenge to reach, teach, and support one million always-striving adult learners.”


Research shows that 44 percent of adults who earn less than $30,000 do not have home broadband services, 46 percent of this population do not have a traditional computer and 29 percent do not have smartphones.

Unlike the overwhelming majority of remote learning options for adult education and COVID-19 information sources, Cell-Ed does not require learners to have internet, smartphones, computers or data plans, or to possess digital literacy skills. Instead, they simply listen to audio lessons, text or message on any device to use Cell-Ed, even just calling in on a basic cell phone.


“We are proud to collaborate with Cell-Ed to scale this innovative tool for the millions of adults in need,” said British A. Robinson, President and CEO of the Barbara Bush Foundation. “We hope this initiative will empower Americans to fully participate in our society as parents, workers and citizens—breaking the multigenerational cycle of low literacy.”

“By partnering with Cell-ED to make the power of learning available to students through their mobile device, we hope to reduce barriers that might prevent learners from actively engaging in instruction and pursuing their educational goals,” said Denine Torr, executive director of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. “We are proud to join with these great partners in trying to reach one million learners.”


Since the coronavirus pandemic began, Cell-Ed has received a 20-fold increase in requests from adult education providers seeking offline remote learning options so they can serve this population.

For individuals who want to access Cell-Ed’s short, personalized and real-life lessons in literacy, language, job and digital skills, as well as the COVID-19 guides for free, they can:

· Call (831) 292-4321 on any cell phone
· Go to for app, WhatsApp and web options
· In New York, please call (646) 736-4886 and go to for app, WhatsApp and web options


To maximize awareness and access, Cell-Ed is working with a diverse network of thousands of on-the-ground partners (e.g., job training centers, food pantries, churches) to offer essential courses and its COVID-19 guides to their clients for free throughout the country.

Organizations that want to offer Cell-Ed to their clients, employees, students and partners, or join as a founding partner of the Challenge, can learn more here.


—More about the official partners—

About the State of New York Office for New Americans
Governor Cuomo established the New York State Office for New Americans in 2013 to assist newcomers in the State who are eager to contribute to the economy and become part of the family of New York. The New York State Office for New Americans is the first state-level immigrant office created by statute in the country. To learn more, visit

About Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy
The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy has been the nation’s leading advocate for family literacy for more than three decades. Established by former First Lady Barbara Bush in 1989, the Foundation is a public charity that envisions an America in which everyone can read, write, and comprehend in order to navigate the world with dignity. To learn more, visit

About Dollar General Literacy Foundation
The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is proud to support initiatives that help others improve their lives through literacy and education. Since 1993, the Foundation has awarded more than $172 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 11 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy, a general education diploma or English proficiency. Each year, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation provides financial support to schools, nonprofit organizations and libraries within a 15-mile radius of Dollar General stores, distribution centers or corporate office. To learn more about the Dollar General Literacy Foundation or apply for a literacy grant, visit

About Cell-Ed
Cell-Ed is a mobile-first learning company based in Palo Alto, California. Our science-based learning is proven to teach essential life and job skills more effectively and in a fraction of time by delivering engaging micro-lessons, coaching, and certificates over messaging and audio on any mobile device, even a basic phone. Currently, Cell-Ed’s 100+ partners in 14 countries deliver Cell-Ed programs such as language and digital literacy, numeracy, job skills and their own custom programs via our training, communications, and data analytics platform to better reach, teach, text, coach and upskill their learners and workers on any device. To learn more, visit 

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Aisling Carroll – 334-7887

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