Smarthinking Executive Appointed to the Washington D.C. Board of Directors for Learning Ally

Dr. Christa Ehmann Powers to Assist the Organization with Growth and Local Outreach

Washington, DC, September 03, 2011 --( Smarthinking, Inc. (, the market leader in online tutoring and academic support, has announced that Dr. Christa Ehmann Powers, the firm’s senior vice president and chief education officer, has been appointed to the Washington, D.C. board of directors for Learning Ally, a nonprofit organization dedicated to giving everyone equal access to learning by making reading accessible for all K-12, high school, college and graduate students, veterans and lifelong learners with blindness, visual impairment, dyslexia or other learning disabilities through digital recordings and assistive technology devices.

Ehmann Powers is a leader in the development of online tutoring in the United States and internationally, having headed the education department of Smarthinking since its founding in 1999. She initially developed the unique educational protocols and mechanisms for online tutoring, and thereafter implemented the operational systems to manage the growth of Smarthinking, which now tutors hundreds of thousands of students each year. Ehmann Powers earned her master’s and doctorate degrees from Oxford University in England and has taught and worked worldwide in the field of online tutoring and education. The Learning Ally board of directors meets quarterly and works to grow the organization through local outreach and finding ways to shape the future of the group.

“One of the most basic aspects of life that people take for granted everyday is the ability to read, and I am excited to be working with Learning Ally to bring access to reading to everyone,” said Ehmann Powers. “I look forward to helping Learning Ally continue to grow and meet the diverse needs of its exceptional members.”

“Christa Powers brings world class experience in online education to our Washington, DC Board,” said Billy Brown, Director of Philanthropy, Southern Region for Learning Ally. “Her perspectives will inspire our Board members, volunteers, and staff, and help advance our mission to provide accessible educational resources to all people who learn differently.”

- Learning Ally was formerly known as Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic. The name change reflects the organization’s efforts to provide help and change for those with learning and reading disabilities beyond blindness and dyslexia. For more information, visit

About Smarthinking:
Smarthinking is the leader in on-demand student support to bolster student performance, persistence and retention. Its services were honored with the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) CODiE award for Best Instruction Solution for Students at Home. Schools, colleges, universities, libraries, government agencies, textbook publishers and other education providers partner with Smarthinking to increase student achievement and enhance learning. Smarthinking, a member of the Pearson family, connects students to expert educators for assistance in math, writing, science, business, and nursing & allied health, up to 24/7, on any Internet-connected computer. Smarthinking’s corporate office is located in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit

About Learning Ally™:
Founded in 1948 as Recording for the Blind, Learning Ally serves more than 300,000 K-12, college and graduate students, as well as veterans and lifelong learners – all of whom cannot read standard print due to blindness, visual impairment, dyslexia, or other learning disabilities. Learning Ally’s collection of more than 65,000 digitally recorded textbooks and literature titles – delivered through internet downloads and various assistive technology devices – is the largest of its kind in the world. More than 6,000 volunteers across the U.S. help to record and process the educational materials, which students rely on to achieve academic and professional success. Learning Ally, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, is funded by grants from state and local education programs, and the generous contributions of individuals, foundations and corporations. For more information, call (866) 732-3585 or visit

Caitlin Russell
MMI Public Relations
(919) 233-6600

Kristin O'Bannon