NYT 'sponsor a subscription' has given 1.3 million students Times access

The New York Times building in New York City.
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The New York Times' "sponsor a subscription" program has provided access to more than 1.3 million students in just over a month of operation, the company said Thursday in a press release.

The program, which debuted Feb. 3, allows individuals to donate a digital subscription to the Times to public school students in the United States. For every subscription that a donor sponsors, The New York Times grants one at its own expense to another student. To date, over 15,000 individuals have contributed to the program.

"The genesis of the 'sponsor a subscription' program came directly from readers who approached us with the desire to help support independent journalism and promote news literacy after the U.S. elections," Arthur Sulzberger Jr., publisher of The New York Times, said in a press release.

The company says the rapid growth of the program is allowing them to expand benefits. The company already grants access to The Learning Network, a site dedicated to teaching through Times content, to schools whose students have benefited from the program.

But now, the Times is rolling out a series of live webinars with Times reporters "on topics like news literacy, personal finance, persuasive writing, climate change, immigration and the Supreme Court," the release said. And that isn't the end of the benefits, New York Times Vice President of Consumer Revenue Hannah Yang told CNBC.

"We are still in the planning phase, but we are exploring ideas like an online interactive platform where teachers can share their ideas and experiences on teaching with Times content, live events and workshops, and adding more teaching and learning tools to The Learning Network," Yang said.