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Scholastic offers free online courses as schools across the country shut down due to coronavirus

Scholastic is offering free online courses for children as school closures sweep the nation amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The company's digital learning hub is accessible on all devices, including smartphones, and requires no sign-up, the company announced Friday

The Scholastic Learn At Home program offers three hours of learning per day with up to four weeks of instruction. Users are asked to choose a grade level, separated into pre-K and kindergarten, first and second grade, third through fifth grade, and sixth grade and above. 

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The courses span the subjects of English language arts; STEM; science; social studies; and social-emotional learning.

The aim is for the program to help keep children academically active amid the massive school closures, said Lauren Tarshis, senior vice president and editor-in-chief/publisher of Scholastic Classroom Magazines.

“We designed Scholastic Learn At Home knowing that administrators and teachers need to create extensive virtual learning plans, quickly, and that students need uplifting and engaging experiences,” Tarshis said in the announcement. “Our hope is that even though daily routines are being disrupted and students may not have valuable time in school with their educators, together we can support meaningful learning at home while it is necessary.”

The program is designed to be readily available at home and requires no printing for assignments. 

The program will remain free and open indefinitely, according to Scholastic. 

Schools have been closing across the nation as the virus spreads, with more than 3,700 cases confirmed in the U.S., according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Schools have been closed in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Washington state, West Virginia and Wisconsin. 

New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioMedian rent in Manhattan falls below ,000 for first time in nearly a decade De Blasio's obsession with racial balance in schools has a clear victim: Asian students Citigroup executive to run for NYC mayor: report MORE (D) announced Sunday city public schools would close starting Monday. County officials in other parts of New York also shut schools, but a statewide closure has not been put in place across New York state.