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.

  • In this inspiring podcast, @paulshoeSVP talks to our CEO, @davidrisherWR, about what it means to be a leader in 202… https://t.co/qZ7ohNIzt0
  • RT @paulshoeSVP: David Risher crossed paths w/ Jeff B & Bill G. His life journey prepared him for the decade ahead and provides us w/ criti…
  • Want to learn a new skill in 2021? Check out this awesome e-books @humble. The bundle supports our work to help the… https://t.co/MhWWaBdjjo
  • RT @ILearnJo: “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” ~ Dr. Seuss We…
  • What #books do you plan to read in 2021? Take a look at @davidrisherWR's favourite books of the past year. Happy r… https://t.co/1u2r2j0fd3
  • RT @hbsanc: .@worldreaders' @davidrisherWR '91 & #author @JenRisher join us on Wed. 1/20- hear how they've followed a values-based path to…
  • RT @KaiOStech: The list of 2020's most popular #KaiOS apps is out! We selected the top 5 apps across three categories for you. Check out th…
  • A huge, heartfelt thank you to everyone who supported our year-end campaign, Keep Children Reading US. We are so grateful for all of you.
  • Happy new year! What's your new year's resolution? Ours: to read more books...
  • Only 1 day left to donate towards our holiday campaign. Give reading: https://t.co/GFijQVg32h
  • Only 48 hours left till the end of the year. There's still time for you to donate to help children read this holida… https://t.co/S8pBrXcl1t
  • Thanks @chriscapossela! Every gift counts towards reaching our goal of keeping children reading during these challe… https://t.co/d1dTbbPKrn
  • While we can't be together this year, the Worldreader family hasn't lost our holiday spirit! Wishing you all a very… https://t.co/VmduCxWCmI
  • We hope you have a wonderful #ChristmasEve filled with reading. As the end of 2020 approaches, please consider dona… https://t.co/BhKOghPzKG
  • Proud that our CEO, @davidrisherWR , has joined the Board of Directors of The Barbara Bush Foundation. The foundati… https://t.co/X83kpCkUc5
  • RT @BarbaraBushFdn: Literacy is the key to transforming lives and building a more equitable country. Help us make literacy accessible for #…
  • RT @BarbaraBushFdn: When we view the field of literacy through the lens of equity, we're able to see how unmet literacy needs can impact se…
  • RT @danicalbarnett: Everyone deserves a chance to fall in love with books, which is why @worldreaders’ mission to make reading more accessi…