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.

  • RT @UN_Women: Youth are leaders at the forefront of the #COVID19 crisis, pushing for equality, justice and dignity for all. On Int'l #Youth…
  • RT @UN: ✅ Taking #ClimateAction ✅ Reducing inequalities ✅ Ensuring inclusivity Youth engagement is essential to achieving the #GlobalGoals
  • RT @HAARTKenya: Today we celebrate all young people in Kenya and the rest of the world who dedicate their time, energy and talent in creati…
  • RT @ColinMcElwee: Thanks to our partnership with @opera we can get these books to many millions of youth across sub Saharan Africa https://…
  • Youth represent tremendous potential for our collective future. But they need the right skill set to navigate our c… https://t.co/Y0zjVd2rH9
  • RT @opera: Happy International Youth Day! Together with @worldreaders , we are promoting literacy among African youth with a list of inspir…
  • RT @davidrisherWR: As featured on @MorningEdition: HalfMyDAF Heroes have given away nearly $4M to support education, justice, homelessness…
  • Only one day left to get this awesome coding bundle AND help change a kid's life. We're so grateful to the whole… https://t.co/Z8IdAKrSNe
  • “I love to read because reading opens up your mind. Reading has helped me to know about wonderful places I’ve never… https://t.co/4Kru5U1AqT
  • RT @SILLEAD: "Stories can help children stay resilient." Check out this great resource from @worldreaders for helping your children unders…
  • Children all around the world have been touched by #coronavirus. Here are 6 books from our library to help the chil… https://t.co/xNaj3wDT94
  • RT @WBG_Education: Decades of progress in educational access could be reversed due to #COVID19. If #education falls back, the world falls b…
  • RT @Wilbur_Niso_Fdn: Read these amazing Author of Tomorrow award winning stories by talented young #adventure writers. We're delighted to s…
  • RT @EduCannotWait: #COVID19 Emergency Education Measures: Scaling up distance education programmes, including interactive radio learning. S…
  • Proud to be partnered with @lantanapub, a publisher whose inclusive books celebrate our differences so that childre… https://t.co/HeLZ7UU78n
  • RT @lantanapub: We're over the 🌙 that #TakingTime by @joloringfisher made it into the @ObsNewReview's July 'Picture Books for Children | "A…
  • RT @Wilbur_Niso_Fdn: Thanks again to the wonderful @worldreaders for showcasing these 5 ace #adventure books by young writers & winners of…
  • What are you reading this summer? 🌞 https://t.co/pVUV6srOkZ
  • RT @libraryaidafric: As #LibraryPrepares to re-open, leveraging digital technology to offer library and information services delivery is mo…
  • RT @Chemonics: One hour left! We'll be joining @BasicEdtweets and @GblReadingNtwk for this timely discussion alongside @EDCtweets @RTI_INT…