learn / 2019

Deedly - 8th Grade Curriculum

Deedly - 8th Grade Curriculum Play Video Play Video Play video on deedly.s3-accelerate.amazonaws.com

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by Deedly Inc

We ask The Goldhirsh Foundation to fund the production of our 8th grade custom media content and accompanying curriculum. The focus of the content will take our students on a four-week journey focusing on social-emotional learning, media literacy, then, building on those concepts, explore the reduction of single use plastics, and fast fashion - four issues affecting LA county and worldwide. One of our non-profit partners for this curriculum is LA based non-profit 5 Gyres.

Briefly tell us a story that demonstrates how your organization turns inspiration into impact.

Our first pilot program was in Little Haiti, Miami. The school that we visited had 97% of its students on meal support. A Title I school and thus, their ability to donate monetarily or do ‘acts of charity’ is extremely limited due to their socioeconomic background. We showed them a video on the world water crisis where a 13yr old girl has to carry a 40 pound jerry can 3 miles every day -just to get water for her family- and in doing so giving up her opportunity for an education. After the video was over we asked the children to carry a similar jerry can across a basketball court to allow them to physically understand the journey of the young girl they had just learnt about. One of the students came up to our co-founder Serinda Swan and told her how just yesterday she was complaining to her mother about having to carry all the groceries in from the car. She said a lightbulb went off during our curriculum at how lucky she was that those bags contained food. That she could walk to the sink and get clean water and that she didn’t have to give up her education for basic human needs. She said that she had always considered that she was the ‘charity’ but she said after watching our Deedly video she realized that a donation is not just monetary - it’s using your voice, using a dollar as a vote, and using your spending power (no matter how big or small) to inform the decisions of corporations. She understood that with every action she can create change and that was something she was looking forward to doing in the future both within the Deedly curriculum and now outside in her every day life. This is exactly what our founders Serinda Swan and Andrew Resnick had intended on when they created Deedly. They wanted to build a platform to educate students on world issues while simultaneously giving them the tools both inside and out, to create change.

Deedly aligns with the most cutting edge research to ensure we have the best shot of enlivening students’ moral imagination, and putting them on the path to be civically engaged through their entire lives. We believe young people have amazing creative kinetic energy, and their idealism has gone largely untapped up to this point.

Which of the learn metrics will your submission impact?​

  • Student education pipeline

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • County of Los Angeles

How will your project make LA the best place to learn?


Each day, students will view a video segment outlining a world issue, and the vetted non-profit that has made tangible, measurable efforts in positively affecting this issue. These videos are supported with a “challenge” in the form of a quiz, and lesson plans that support multiple learning modalities. Upon completion of the quiz, students are awarded “Deed Coins,” which they are able to donate directly to the charity they just learned about. The technology has built-in functionality for students to select an area they are most interested in donating their coins to - providing even greater value-add to charities in the form of analytics to help them understand what programs motivate this population to give. To date, Deedly has created and successfully piloted its 6th grade curriculum, and is in the process of completing its 7th. Our LA based production team was part of the minds behind KONY2012 -the largest online movement in history- and our Head of Education has a PhD in pedagogy, curriculum and her research expertise is on “efficacious empathy.”

We’ve invested in creating a robust Salesforce platform which implements user tracking that will give us insight on how the tool and curriculum is being used. Through this we can identify pain points quickly and create automation to rapidly expand our audience.

Population Being Served:

It is explicit through Deedly’s business model that this platform is accessible to all student populations. We prioritize diversity and equity to be sure that our curriculum will be engaging, and we take care to run content and language through a number of different communities to ensure we embody inclusivity. Deedly believes that all students have a significant contribution to offer and should be given the opportunity here in Los Angeles and globally.


8th grade content creation would begin July 15; be completed September 15; and launch October 1.

Measurable progress:

We see Deedly as an invaluable opportunity. Our objective is to equip the students of LA with the knowledge of world issues, empower them to make informed world changing decisions while simultaneously offering them the ability to donate monetarily at no cost to them, their teacher or the charities they are supporting.

We have made a commitment to prioritize quality analytics through Salesforce from our inception. This data helps us better understand how users are interacting and responding to our product, especially our educators, as our goal is to ensure that it lessens their workload, while enriching the students’ learning. This is not linear, assembly line pedagogy - instead our content is delivered in alignment to cutting edge research. We build new neural pathways with our work & address the whole human being.

We have been able to use phase 1 of our pilot program to make measurable progress with onboarding and we are about to enter phase 2 which will give us more robust optics into user data.

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Post-pilot (testing an expansion of concept after initially successful pilot)

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.

We will define success based on three key indicators:

1) Our usefulness to educators.

This can be tracked through the analytics we are collecting to measure teachers’ time on site, number of logins, number of completed videos, number of students they onboard, and the number of other teachers they refer. All of these metrics are being captured and reported through our custom Salesforce platform. With Deedly’s home base being in LA, it has a focus to first impact it’s home city and target amplification in and around LA county. Deedly creates an open-source platform which gives access to our program to all educators. Not only is it designed by experts in curriculum, teaching, and pedagogy, and therefore aligned to California 8th grade Social Studies standards, it incorporates requirements that further Title IV initiative for a well-rounded student and education in college/career readiness.

2) The ability to activate students.

Deedly’s focus is to primarily education, but then necessarily to activate. For our 8th grade content, we are focusing on LA -based non-profit partners who we can guide our audience to engage with after they have gone through our program. Conversion from platform-to-irl activism is of utmost importance to Deedly’s programming and success. Since Deedly is dedicated to empower all students with this content and message, the platform will be open-sourced and available to students at any resource level.

3) Support the ‘Change Makers’.

We aim to be a revenue generating stream for our carefully vetted charity partners. The amount of funds we can donate to enable their life-changing work will be a measure of our success, but ultimately the way we bring light to their issue, their time and the changes they are trying to make will build us the success we are really aiming for. The entire concept and experience of the Deedly program is to help students understand authentic challenges facing their city, community and world, then use their unique talents to affect positive change while also being able to donate monetarily.