In the late 1990’s, Darren Butler left the classroom as an enrichment specialist to pursue his passion as an author. Upon the publication of his Abbie Girl Spy series for middle grade readers, Darren traveled to schools as an author in residence. On his school visits, he not only read from his work, he taught mini-lessons in writing to the students.
In 2000, Darren was asked to work with fifth and seventh grade students on the Alabama Direct Assessment on Writing. He worked with schools scoring with as little as 8% percent passing the state writing assessment. In just a year, the schools under his direction saw a dramatic increase in scores. Within three years, all of the schools were scoring in the 90th percentile.
In 2011, Darren and his wife, Freda, brought his method for teaching writing to the virtual world. Virtual Village Classroom was born in their basement with a skeleton staff. The pilot program included fifteen schools. From there, the company grew until it could no longer stay contained in the basement. Virtual Village Classroom moved to an entrepreneurial center and expanded to a full time staff of educators, graphic designers, and production staff. With time, a sales manager and inside sales team were brought on board, which helped the company expand its reach to over half the states in the country.
The premiere product, Weekly Writer, is used by thousands of students and teachers each day in an effort to improve overall literacy — one school at a time.
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