Sage Salvo founded Words Liive in 2013 as a way to help teachers improve the literacy rates in their classroom. The platform  incorporates text, music and language arts curriculum to help elementary through high school students in language arts and English.

What started as a teaching gig at Howard University after leaving the sports world as a financial analyst, bloomed into Salvo creating a platform focused on reshaping how students learn to to write.

Salvo said his students and fellow poets inspired him to create Words Liive. He taught freshmen classes at Howard’s College of Arts and Sciences and noticed that students were not writing proficiently.

“They were missing skills that they should have graduated high school with,” Salvo said. “It was alarming.”

Salvo said many freshmen were not able to form coherent arguments in their essays or used slang throughout their assignments.

Word Liive’s curriculum is curated within a few easy steps. Teachers select the text that they are using for the classroom and name the concept they want to teach.

The platform then provides a list of contemporary songs that feature the literary concepts and teachers choose which songs they want to use. Once all of the selections are made, Words Liive compiles a customized, downloadable slide presentation that offers activities and quizzes for students.

He said that using popular music increases the engagement with students and encourages them to learn.

Words Liive has been tested in classrooms throughout the D.C.-metro area. The company has received more than $200,000 in funding from CamelBack Ventures, a minority-focused venture capital firm, AT&T Inspire Accelerator and Halycon Accelerator.

Words Liive is currently in beta, with plans to fully launch in January.