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.

  • Looking forward to taking part in this rich discussion with our fellow @Team4Tech partners. #Scale #Impact https://t.co/XmauH5my7g
  • How can a city bounce back stronger after the pandemic? Tomorrow, our co-founder @ColinMcElwee will be joining the… https://t.co/lHiMG3qf8E
  • RT @Wilbur_Niso_Fdn: 📣 Just 2 weeks left to enter this year's Author of Tomorrow! Children, teens, and young writers age 21 and under are…
  • We are in awe of all those taking part in the round-the-world challenge to raise such valuable funds. On behalf of… https://t.co/UPqUROdpFI
  • Digital learning is a key factor to guarantee the #RightToEducation. Great to have been part of a global initiative… https://t.co/quctIHzULX
  • RT @wendykopp: In order to #BuildBackBetter we must cultivate promising leaders at all levels of the education system and support them to i…
  • RT @SerpicobyCroud: Join our round-the-world challenge to raise money for @worldreaders! Hear from their Associate Director of India Progra…
  • RT @RobertG_Jenkins: Education ministers from some of the world’s most populous countries - Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indone…
  • RT @UNICEFEducation: At least 463 million or nearly 1/3 of students around the globe cannot access remote learning A new global initiativ…
  • RT @codengo: Enter the Author of Tomorrow #writing competition & win cash, book tokens, & get published! The Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing…
  • We are so excited to watch the leader boards and thank all the teams & individuals who are contributing to this won… https://t.co/DIc3DPhASj
  • Today Worldreader's @bhanupotta had an awesome fireside chat with R V Bala Iyer, VP, @reliancejio as part of JioDev… https://t.co/4saAVeAJ8q
  • RT @JioDevelopers: As part of JioDevelopers #AppConnect initiative we are excited to announce our upcoming fireside chat with Bhanu Potta,…
  • "When Covid-19 hit, understanding how you could read outside a school setting become incredibly relevant." Our Co-f… https://t.co/XbQzwczHAI
  • RT @SerpicobyCroud: We are delighted to be partnering with @salesforce to launch our round-the-world fundraising challenge for digital read…
  • RT @NegFire: Here we come with Learning Centres, providing elementary education and playful activities to the marginalized rural children i…
  • Last week our co-founder, @ColinMcElwee, returned to Nottingham, the city where he was brought up, to talk to… https://t.co/CARN4wYIH1