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Conn Education acquires Novel Units

Press Release: Conn Education [August 1, 2019]

ST. LOUIS, Mo., Aug. 1, 2019 Conn Education today announced it has acquired Novel Units, a K-12 solution created by teachers for teachers. A provider of educational materials and technology solutions to PreK-12 classrooms, learning centers and school districts in the United States, Conn Education acquired Novel Units from ECS Learning Systems.

Novel Units' products provide lesson planning roadmaps for in-depth learning that enhance the reading experience for the student and teacher alike. The content contains high-interest material, clear objectives, and thought provoking activities that promotes student engagement, participation and critical thinking.

Benjamin Conn, CEO, Conn Education, and his wife, Marla Conn, who is an educational consultant and literacy specialist, said the acquisition was borne out of their familiarity with Novel Units and passion for supporting educators in the quest to spark students' creativity, knowledge and curiosity.

"When the opportunity arose to acquire and relaunch this iconic brand, we moved quickly at the opportunity," Benjamin Conn said. "Marla was a customer of Novel Units as a teacher in New York City, while for more than 20 years I have marketed and sold it as a distributor. We are excited to put our educational and distribution experiences together to enhance more than 1,000 titles that are core books in classrooms."

Conn said Novel Units' chapter-by-chapter guides incorporate research-based, higher-order reading, writing, and thinking activities. Student-centered discussion questions help teachers captivate students in a participatory dialogue about the novel's literary elements, including plot, conflicts, themes, and character motivations.

In addition to Teacher Guides, Novel Units also provide Student Packets, which feature vocabulary strategies, content-rich study guides, quizzes, and character analysis. Critical-thinking challenges, including open ended writing prompts, and reading responses further foster comprehension of the text.

"We look forward to updating and boosting the content to reflect current trends in education and teaching practices," Marla Conn said.

She added that a complete Novel Unit consists of a teacher guide, student workbooks, trade books, end-of-book assessment, and audio book. Graphic novels, Spanish editions, and large-print versions of titles are available as well.

"We will integrate Novel Units through our Classroom Library Company distribution platform and will make them available to existing customers, in addition to introducing the product to new market channels," said Benjamin Conn, who added his company distributes books, directly to schools as well as through a select network of educational partners such as Pearson, School Specialty, Open Up Resources, and the US Military.

Sam Barnes, COO of ECS Learning, a publisher and distributor of teacher and student instructional materials, said he is confident Novel Units will be in excellent hands with Conn Education.

"Our partnership with Conn Education has shown us first hand its quality, integrity and passion, which perfectly aligns with our mission," Barnes said. "We look forward to the renewed investment of Novel Units with Conn Education's experience in the marketplace and its stellar, well-deserved reputation. We mutually share the same vision and we are beyond fortunate to be part of Conn Education's expansion into this space."

For more information about Conn Education, visit For more information about Novel Units, visit

View Citation
Publication Year:2019
Type of Material:Press Release
Language English
Issue:August 1, 2019
Publisher:Conn Education
Company: Conn Education
Subject: Mergers and acquisitions
Record Number:24494
Last Update:2023-11-21 21:31:34
Date Created:2019-08-01 15:15:08