All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development Announces Round 2 Grantees for Technology-Based Literacy Solutions

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with World Vision and the Australian Government, announced today 14 grantees for the second call of  All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development. Innovators across the world were selected for their low-cost, technology-based solutions and programs that confront fundamental literacy issues and empower children to read.

“More than 250 million children across the globe cannot read or write, representing a quiet crisis that is casting entire communities into a cycle of extreme poverty,” said USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah. “Through All Children Reading, we are rallying a global community of innovators to develop groundbreaking solutions to illiteracy — and in doing so, giving the world’s most vulnerable children a chance to seize their potential.”

The second round of the Grand Challenge focused on the creation and expansion of scalable, low-cost education tools that improve literacy opportunities for children in the early grades. Over the next two years, innovators will work to develop technology-based, appropriate solutions that will improve and sustain student reading scores by focusing on three specific areas:  Mother Tongue Instruction and Reading Materials; Family and Community Engagement; and Children with Disabilities.

Round 2 grantees include:

Mother Tongue Instruction and Reading Materials

  • Agora Center, the University of Jyväskylä – Zambia
    Introduces GraphoGame, a science-based eLearning environment for literacy and teacher training.
  • Creative Associates International – Zambia
    Develops a community-based, scalable model for using mobile technology to create and disseminate mother tongue reading materials to families with early grade children.
  • Kampuchean Action for Primary Education – Cambodia
    Develops mother tongue instruction and reading materials, with electronic readers having interactive features for Grades 2 and 3 readers.
  • Little Thinking Minds – Jordan
    Builds a child-centered ICT-based Arabic literacy program consisting of e-books and associated mobile applications that can supplement traditional school-based learning at home or in the classroom.
  • Réseau d’Acteurs pour le Renouveau de l’Education – Mali
    Uses mobile technology to improve the teaching and learning of reading and writing in bilingual curriculum schools.

Family and Community Engagement

  • ChildFund International – Afghanistan
    Transmits radio messages and stories to families of struggling readers, using solar-charged mobile phones.
  • Oeuvre Malienne d’Aide à l’Enfance du Sahel – Mali
    Uses Stepping Stone, a low-cost mobile lesson creation tool, to determine how access to interactive digital audio and texts might enhance pre-reading and reading skills.
  • Qué Funciona para el Desarrollo A.C. – Mexico
    Introduces MATCH, a technology-based platform that provides children and their parents with a selection of Spanish-written books that are tailored to the child’s reading level and coincide with his/her topics of interest.
  • Sesame Workshop India Trust – India
    Strengthens family and community engagement in promoting mother tongue reading skills among early primary grade children.

Children with Disabilities

  • Benetech – India
    Creates texts in local languages by developing accessible audio books paired with the most current braille-focused reading methods.
  • Catholic Relief Services – Lesotho
    Improves the reading outcomes of visually impaired children through the use of the Mountbatten Pro Brailler (MB Pro) and the Jot-a-Dot portable Brailler.
  • Institute for Disabilities Research and Training, Inc. – Morocco
    Develops computer software that enables educators to efficiently create instructional materials with Moroccan Sign Language graphics.
  • Resources for the Blind, Inc. – Philippines
    Develops technology to create and upload accessible versions of supplementary reading materials, and provides equipment needed by visually impaired students to access the materials.
  • Studio ADC – Georgia
    Develops and tests electronic versions of books and learning materials for hearing impaired children.

All Children Reading grantees will showcase their innovative ideas during a public forum on Friday, February 6 from 11:00am – 1:00pm EST at USAID headquarters in Washington, D.C.

USAID’s Grand Challenge for Development initiative crowd-sources solutions to solve clearly-defined problem sets, engaging the world in a quest to discover, incubate, test, and accelerate innovative solutions that have the potential to solve the world’s greatest development challenges. All Children Reading was established by USAID in 2011 to seek solutions to improve reading skills for children in the early grades, helping USAID reach its goal of getting 100 million children reading by 2015. All Children Reading is a $25 million initiative attracting innovations that leverage the transformative power of technology to leapfrog existing infrastructure challenges and empower children to read.

To learn more about All Children Reading and the Round 2 Grantees