Sylvan Learning Acquires Citelighter Composition Product to Enhance Digital Aspects of National Writing Program

by SYLVAN LEARNING | May 03, 2017

Leading supplemental education franchise acquires another Baltimore education company’s technology product to improve its service offering and business model

BALTIMORE (May 3, 2017) — 2016 was a year of incredible growth for Sylvan Learning, the nation’s leading supplemental education resource and enrichment program provider, and with the announcement of the acquisition of the digital writing solution developed by Citelighter, the brand shows no signs of slowing in 2017. 

Building off the 2015 launch of Sylvan EDGE, a program that provides courses in coding, robotics, engineering and advanced math, Sylvan added 19 additional classes, including Algebra EDGE, in 2016. 

New language arts (ELA) standards are making writing a top priority in both instruction and state tests, and Sylvan is addressing this growing need. The acquisition of Citelighter rounds out Sylvan’s new national writing program set to launch this fall. Through its franchisee presence in hundreds of markets across the country, the brand plans to grow it’s footprint in writing composition, both with schools as well as offering direct to consumer writing composition courses.  Sylvan will also continue to support the 45 school districts across the country that have implemented Citelighter to-date. 

"Writing is a hard subject to teach and for students to grasp because it is a mix of skill and art," said Emily Levitt, vice president of education at Sylvan Learning. "Developing strong writing skills at a young age is so important, and Citelighter is one of the only -- if not the only -- digital platforms that helps students learn composition step by step. Citelighter breaks the writing process into a manageable system so students can approach writing in a methodical, organized fashion.”

Citelighter CEO Saad Alam was inspired to start the business when his younger brother wanted to drop out of college after struggling with writing research papers, not feeling properly trained from high school English class. Alam helped his brother finish the semester and connected with co-founder and COO Lee Joki to create a program that helps students focus on developing writing skills at a young age.

“We are thrilled that Sylvan, another Baltimore-based company that is a powerhouse in the industry, is taking our program and spreading it across the country,” said Alam. “Citelighter is a proven system to help children learn how to write at a young age -- and will provide a nice complement to Sylvan’s already robust product offerings.”

In 2016, Sylvan Learning focused on growth, reworking its franchise business model and renewing its commitment to delivering the best educational programs, building the best business model, leading the market, enhancing the brand and growing the franchise system. The acquisition of Citelighter aligns squarely with the refined model and marks another step forward for the rapidly growing, 750 location brand. 

Citelighter has received various industry accolades including winning the software, information and education technology SIIA-CODiE award, and being named a 2015 finalist for Best Learning-Capacity Building Product, and in 2013 won the Educator’s Choice award.

About Sylvan Learning, Inc. With more than 35 years of experience and more than 750 locations throughout North America, Sylvan Learning is the leading provider of personal learning for students in grades K-12. Sylvan is transforming how students learn, inspiring them to succeed in school and in life. Sylvan’s proven tutoring approach blends amazing teachers with SylvanSync™ technology on the iPad® for an engaging learning experience. Sylvan also leads the way with Sylvan EDGE—STEM and accelerated courses and Sylvan Prep —college and test prep courses. Sylvan supports families through every stage of the academic journey. For more information, visit or