Model & Strategy

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) textbooks and storybooks 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.

At a Glance
Founded: 2010
Founder & President: David Risher
Education
Location of work: International, Africa, Asia, Latin America
Worldreader
San Francisco, CA
Eradicate illiteracy
David Risher of Worldreader
Meet David Risher

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.  In 2016, he was selected as one of 12 Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurs.  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.

 

IMPACT

In 2019, over 2 million people read from Worldreader’s digital library, bringing the total number of readers since 2010 to 13.3M. They spent 28,591,650 hours reading on tablets and cell-phones, an average of over 1 hour/reader/month.

Worldreader has launched its newest project in Latin America. The project, CreceLee, will bring Spanish digital reading to an estimated 4,500 students via tablets and mobile phones over three years.
After a year of operation, Worldreader’s Jordan-based Tuta-Tuta project reached over 58,000 refugees and Jordanian families in 2019. The project aims to support children’s educational and social-emotional needs by providing programmed access to a curated collection of highly-relevant, digital Arabic storybooks.

Worldreader launched it’s Ghanaian “Inspire Us” collection in 2019. The 30-book collection focuses on engaging young women and encouraging conversations around gender norms and gender stereotypes, with the goal of reaching 30,000 female readers across Ghana and West Africa.

  • Happy International Day of Families! Before we even begin to build a better world, our families help build us. In t… https://t.co/lBiXf5xQRX
  • We’re excited to hear of tangible ways the US is working to close the digital divide! Now, more children in lower-i… https://t.co/c0hjNqyCLf
  • How has reading transformed your life? 📱💫 #digitalreading #readingapp
  • #GoodTechFest is almost here! Starting tomorrow, hear from Rachel Heavner and other great practitioners about how t… https://t.co/qAIH5nG84Y
  • Wishing a very happy Mother's Day to everyone celebrating!🤗💐
  • In just a few days, join our Associate Director of Impact and Evaluation, Rachel Heavner, at #GoodTechFest! Rachel… https://t.co/ETEC6LqLx0
  • RT @NISAedu: The eN-READ Champions Teacher Training was conducted by NISA for one of its association members, TRSMA. The teachers are being…
  • Today the US celebrates National Teacher Day!🍎📝 The impact of a great teacher stays with us long after we leave the… https://t.co/rlxr8jqhNm
  • RT @usedgov: Teachers are passionate, innovative, kind, generous, honest, inspirational, creative, effective, fair, and so much more! Take…
  • We’re incredibly excited to have these books live on BookSmart in June.📚💙 https://t.co/6CodyxsNMx
  • RT @RebeccaLeege: @MrBeast - We'd love to have you amplify the power of reading for children from IDP camps in Ukraine, to the Andes mounta…
  • (1/3) In an interview for @AuthorityMgzine, @RebeccaLeege was asked who in the world she’d like to have a private lunch with, and why?
  • In a powerful interview for @AuthorityMgzine, our Chief Impact Officer, @RebeccaLeege uses moving stories to share… https://t.co/IIArdFkqsU
  • In celebration of #WorldBookDay, we're joining forces with @KendraScott to keep children reading.💙 Today and tomor… https://t.co/MbL2BSkBTZ
  • In celebration of #WorldBookDay, we're joining forces with @KendraScott to keep children reading.💙 Today and tomor… https://t.co/Cgk2dlh3Xb
  • RT @Wilbur_Niso_Fdn: Our @worldreaders Author of Tomorrow adventure writing prize is open until the 22nd of April! Remember to encourage th…
  • With so many fantastic books about conservation, our free BookSmart library is a great way to celebrate Earth Day w… https://t.co/9qKtIh5D9N
  • It's World Creativity and Innovation Day!🚀 Apart from a powerful library of books, our BookSmart App is chock-full… https://t.co/JF51JVRytF