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
Education
Location of work: International, Africa, Asia, Latin America
Worldreader
40 Ringold Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
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 2018, Worldreader empowered over 495,000 people to read from their free digital library, bringing the cumulative number of people reading since 2010 to 11.3M. They spent 108,100 hours reading on tablets and mobile phones.

Worldreader published its final report on the LEAP 2.0 Project, a collaboration between Worldreader and KNLS, the Kenya National Library Service. The project brought Worldreader’s digital reading platform to all 61 national public libraries in Kenya, deploying 3000 e-readers and 600,000 books, and saw sign-ups of over 38,000 new library patrons.

At the end of 2018, PepsiCo South Africa promoted Worldreader on over 70M packages of Simba crisps. The partnership was recently recognized by PepsiCo’s executive leadership through their inaugural 2018 One Billion Smile Awards, which celebrates the outstanding achievements of partnerships, increasing employee engagement.

For Giving Tuesday, Worldreader and Penguin Random House teamed up to run a social media campaign: For every book purchased on prh.com over the week, Penguin Random House donated $1 to Worldreader. 2,500 books were sold to support readers around the world.

  • A girl with a book can dream bigger. And that’s exactly what Dorice did. https://t.co/FuQlfhRkc2 #DayoftheGirl
  • RT @KamalaHarris: A better future starts with lifting up young girls and giving them every opportunity to thrive. This International #DayOf…
  • RT @UN: Girls are unscripted. Girls are unstoppable. Girls can do anything - and everything! Friday is #DayOfTheGirl: https://t.co/6LCeRO8…
  • RT @MichelleNunn: Such an inspiring week having @davidrisherWR and his team from @worldreaders meeting and sharing their learnings with us…
  • RT @sorby_ruth: This #DayoftheGirl please take a moment to listen to Dorice’s story in her own words. Honoured to meet her with @worldreade…
  • RT @AframPub: Happy International Day of the Girl Child! Grab copies of these three inspiring books that talk about girl child education,…
  • RT @RebeccaLeege: 10 Inspiring Books for Day of the Girl Child Happy #DayoftheGirl! To celebrate, here are 10 books that can inspire girls…
  • RT @ColinMcElwee: Todays a special day .....and Doris is an inspiring example of what is possible with very little https://t.co/EBT6rqMklB
  • A girl with a book is an unstoppable force. Dorice’s story reminds us just how life changing books can be.… https://t.co/R9C7FSMAHM
  • In many countries around the world, women and girls don’t have access to stories that depict strong female characte… https://t.co/UWzqsddmE4
  • Unless we all push for greater equality, women and girls will not have the opportunity to reach their full potentia… https://t.co/D3jgjtBqv0
  • When a girl believes in herself, she can do anything 👩🏾‍🎓👩🏾‍🔬👩🏾‍⚕️👩🏾‍🚀 https://t.co/FuQlfhRkc2 #DayoftheGirl
  • Happy International Day of the Girl! We’re excited to celebrate with our partner @Camfed. They support girls to go… https://t.co/ykkRF6bOUB
  • A girl with a book is an unstoppable force. Dorice’s story reminds us just how life changing books can be.… https://t.co/kjtUXamAqZ
  • Every girl in the world deserves to have access to life-changing books. Thanks to supporters like you, girls like D… https://t.co/zCtbqvQTWk
  • When a girl believes in herself, she can do anything. 👩🏾‍🎓👩🏾‍🔬👩🏾‍⚕️👩🏾‍🚀👩🏾‍💼#DayoftheGirl https://t.co/FuQlfhRkc2
  • When a girl is inspired to dream bigger, it can profoundly change her life. Stories have the power to do just that.… https://t.co/84lYh0oIzv
  • How can each of us play our part to accelerate progress towards a more gender-equal world? At Worldreader, we've cr… https://t.co/R5VbvIfGln
  • We know that digital reading has the power to help millions of girls read. Over the next coming years, here's how w… https://t.co/rltTflPoi7
  • RT @Impact_Ed_Intl: This #DayOfTheGirl, we're joining our friends at @Camfed to say NO to child marriage & YES to empowering girls through…