Worldreader is working to transform reading in the developing world, using e-readers to give children endless access to books so they read more and can improve their lives. Worldreader has found that children read significantly more and better than they did before the program. Independent evaluation sponsored by USAID also finds that Worldreader primary school children’s reading scores have increased by eight points over those of control schools, and fluency levels have increased dramatically.
The books themselves are a mixture of local (Ghanaian and Kenyan) text- and story-books in English and Kiswahili that Worldreader has digitized, together with international books. Worldreader has worked with publishers from Random House to Puffin to Penguin to get the rights to use books for free. Worldreader works with partners from Ministers of Education to teachers and community leaders to ensure the success of the program.
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David Risher is the President and Co-Founder of Worldreader.org. He was a General Manager at Microsoft and later Amazon.com’s Senior Vice President of US Retail before retiring and teaching at the University of Washington’s Business School. He is a member of ESADE Business School’s International Advisory Board and he has been deeply involved in education at all levels. David holds a degree in Comparative Literature from Princeton University, an MBA from the Harvard Business School, and sits on the International Advisory Board of Catalonia.
- Each month, 330,000 readers in 27 countries read local and international books on e-readers that Worldreader has supplied and on their cell phones via the app
- In total, 500,000+ people have collectively read 940,000+ digital books with Worldreader
- In November 2011 Bill and Melinda Gates awarded awarded David a grant as a Microsoft Alumni Foundation Integral Fellow