|[June 22, 2018]
XPRIZE and Barbara Bush Foundation to Award Finalist Teams in $7M Adult Literacy XPRIZE and Launch $1M Communities Competition to Distribute Winning Apps to One Million Adult Learners
Tomorrow, at the 2018 American Library Association (ALA) Annual
Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans, XPRIZE-the
global leader in designing and operating world-changing incentive
competitions-and its sponsors, will award $100K to each of the five
finalist teams in the $7M Barbara Bush Foundation Adult
Literacy XPRIZE, presented by the Dollar General Literacy
Foundation. Launched in 2015, the competition challenges teams to
develop mobile applications for existing smart devices that result in
the greatest increase in literacy skills among participating adult
In addition, XPRIZE, the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy and
the Dollar General Literacy Foundation will officially launch the $1M
Communities Competition. This 15-month long national competition will
challenge organizations, communities and individuals to recruit adults
with low literacy skills to download and use the apps developed by the
winning team(s), with an aggregate goal of engaging and transforming the
lives of one million adult learners in the United States.
"More than 36 million adults in the U.S. lack basic English literacy,
yet only five percent have access to educational services," said Shlomy
Kattan, executive director of the Adult Literacy XPRIZE. "With the
advancement of our finalist teams and the beginning of this new phase of
community involvement, we are one step closer to dramatically increasing
access to adult basic education and English language learning for
millions of learners, helping individuals and families gain the skills
they need to unlock new opportunities and improve their lives."
"We know that it's lack of opportunity - not lack of motivation - that
prevents millions of our country's adult learners from gaining vital
literacy skills. That's why we are 100% committed to developing scalable
solutions that will vastly expand our reach to those who need help,"
said Chris Frangione, board member and interim CEO of the Barbara Bush
Foundation for Family Literacy. "The Adult Literacy XPRIZE is our single
largest investment to date to revolutionize the future of adult
education, and an incredible first step to leverage the power of
technology to disrupt the cycle of isolation, lack of opportunity and
poverty for low-literate adults and their families."
"Over the past 25 years, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has
invested in programs that have helped millions of individuals learn to
read, prepare for the high school equivalency exam, and learn English,"
said Denine Torr, Dollar General's senior director of community
initiatives. "We couldn't be more thrilled that we are now on the cusp
of empowering millions more Americans to improve their lives through
The Adult Literacy XPRIZE aims to dramatically change the way the United
States meets the needs of the 36 million adults across the nation with
low literacy skills by tackling the largest obstacles to achieving basic
literacy - access, retention and scale.
The following five finalist teams were selected from an original pool of
109 teams representing 15 countries:
Amrita University (Amritapuri, Kerala, India) - Inspired by Amrita
University's Chancellor AMMA and led by Dr. Prema Nedungadi, this team
of educators and developers have created a personalized learning app
along with engaging, culturally appropriate e-content linked to life
(Hong Kong, China) - Led by Frank Ho, the team applies the
constructivist learning approach to engage learners through action.
Adult learners effectively acquire basic literacy, numeracy and life
skills through a comprehensive curriculum and sound pedagogy.
(Oakland, CA (News - Alert)) - Led by Dr. Jessica Rothenberg-Aalami, this team
brings more than 20 years of EdTech experience with low income,
low-literate adults in the U.S. and worldwide by offering on-demand
essential skills, micro-lessons and personalized coaching on any
mobile device, without internet.
Upgrade (San Diego, CA) - Led by Vinod Lobo, the team
helps students learn English and math the fun way through songs,
video, games and rewards.
ForWords (Dallas, TX) - Led by Southern Methodist
University's Simmons School of Education and Human Development, in
collaboration with SMU's Guildhall and Literacy Instruction for Texas,
the People ForWords team has developed a mobile game based on an
archeological adventure storyline to help adult learners improve their
English reading skills.
A $3M (News - Alert) grand prize will be awarded to the team with the best performance
across all adult learners over a 15-month, 12,000-person field test,
currently ongoing in Los Angeles, Dallas and Philadelphia and concluding
in October 2018. A panel of expert judges will analyze the results and
the winner will be announced in early 2019. Two $1M Achievement Prizes
will also be awarded to the two teams with the best performance in each
of the two key demographic groups: native English speakers and English
In the Communities Competition, a total of $1M will be awarded, with
$500K available for teams who submit the most innovative, feasible and
scalable plans, and $500K for teams who persuade the most adult learners
to download and consistently use the learning apps, with the winning
teams' shares determined by the number of adult learners they engage.
Education institutions, non-profits, NGOs, government agencies,
companies, corporations and individuals are encouraged to register
through the Communities
Competition website and complete an application by December 21, 2018.
For more information about the finalist teams and the Communities
Competition, visit adultliteracy.xprize.org
XPRIZE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the global leader in designing and
implementing innovative competition models to solve the world's grandest
challenges. Active competitions include the Lunar XPRIZE, the $20M NRG
COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, the $15M Global Learning XPRIZE, the $10M ANA
Avatar XPRIZE, the $7M Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE, the $7M Barbara
Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE, the $5M IBM (News - Alert) Watson AI XPRIZE and
the $1.75M Water Abundance XPRIZE. For more information, visit www.xprize.org.
About the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy
The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, a public charity, is
the nation's leading advocate for family literacy. The Foundation was
established by former first lady Barbara Bush in 1989, and today remains
committed to her vision of fostering the opportunity for every man,
woman and child to secure a better life through literacy. To learn more,
or join the conversation on Facebook (News - Alert) or Twitter (@BarbaraBushFdn).
About the Dollar General Literacy Foundation
The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is proud to support initiatives
that help others improve their lives through literacy and education.
Since its inception in 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has
awarded more than $154 million in grants to nonprofit organizations,
helping nearly ten million individuals take their first steps toward
literacy or continued education. For more information about the Dollar
General Literacy Foundation and its grant programs, visit www.dgliteracy.org.
View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180622005012/en/
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