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A Case Study in Literacy and Engagement

Clarinda Community Schools, located in southwest Iowa, is a rural public school system

with approximately 1,200 students in PreK through 12th grade.


Clarinda Community Schools wanted to improve their literacy outcomes by 1) giving families

the tools they need, 2) increasing access to summer learning, and 3) leveraging community

programs and resources.


Through a custom Innovation Works® recipe, Clarinda Community Schools was able to

leverage the collective knowledge and experience of more than 50 stakeholders to identify

key strategies for impacting reading scores. Participants in the process included a diverse

mix of students, teachers, staff members, school board members, and leaders from

community organizations.

Through a game-based process, teams focused on improving reading outcomes before

third grade, a milestone when young readers pivot from learning to read, to reading to

learn. They developed, refined, and pitched ideas. From this, three key strategies were

identified and stakeholders worked together to create and pitch implementation plans.


“Innovation Works® helped us identify strategies we can begin to implement right away. It

introduced our students to the innovation process and showed faculty how to apply game

theory and the innovation process to make the classroom experience more engaging.”

- Chris Bergman, Superintendent


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