About the Program

Program Overview

Newsela’s A Mile In Our Shoes is a K-12 program that promotes empathy and inclusivity through reading. As part of the program, Newsela has curated Text Sets that give students the opportunity to read about different perspectives and lived experiences: people of varying backgrounds, skin colors, religions, sexual orientations, socioeconomic statuses, and nations of origin. Students will build understanding and reflect on the similarities and differences in their own experiences, and educators will gain the tools to foster rich discussions to promote identity, diversity, justice, and action within and beyond their classrooms.

Why We’re Doing This

We’ve seen a recent spike in bullying and hate crimes in America’s schools, as well as the ever-increasing divisiveness in our political discourse. Newsela is uniquely positioned to provide teachers and students with resources to promote empathy and inclusivity. Whether students read about a community they know little about, or a community that they identify with, this campaign aims to spark meaningful discussions in classrooms across the country - while also building essential reading skills.

National Reading Goal and Local Reading Challenges

Reading with A Mile In Our Shoes also comes with real-world rewards. To get teachers and students excited to get reading, the A Mile In Our Shoes program includes a national reading goal and some local reading challenges.

  • National reading drive: The more students read, the more projects we’ll fund on Donors Choose that promote empathy and learning across lines of difference. Follow our progress here.
  • Local reading challenges: A Mile In Our Shoes also includes a local reading challenge component, where schools can compete for prizes that are sure to get teachers and students excited about their progress. We’ll announce reading challenges over email, so keep an eye on your inbox to find out if your school is eligible.

For contest details and progress updates, check out our Reading Challenges overview.


These action-oriented individuals and organizations have stepped up to help promote empathy and understanding in schools across the country.

Teaching resource partners:

  • Teaching Tolerance
  • Define American

Special content and contest partners:

  • Brooklyn Nets
  • Jeremy Lin Foundation
  • Sacramento Kings
  • Golden State Warriors
  • Golden State Warriors Community Foundation
  • American Theater Wing
  • Cast members from the National Tour of HAMILTON

Teaching Resources

Newsela is committed to supporting teachers as they hold these challenging and urgently important discussions in their classrooms. Visit our Teaching Resources page for our A Mile In Our Shoes webinars and classroom resources.

Don’t have a Newsela account? It’s easy and free. Learn more on how to register here.

Let’s Talk

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