the literacy ledgerReflections, findings, stories and the lowdown

Posts by David Risher

5 Million People Reading. What It Takes.

May 22, 2014 By

Lila Tretikov with David Risher

Way back at the beginning of Worldreader, my friend Mike Sundermeyer told me a story about commitment that goes like this: A pig and a chicken were walking down the road. They passed a church and notice that a potluck charity breakfast was under way. Inspired to help, the pig suggested to the chicken that they … Continue Reading →

The Fun in Fundraising

December 22, 2011 By

All non-profit enterprises raise funds. It comes with the territory. After all, if an organization could pay all its bills by selling its services at a profit, it should probably do so and allow Adam’s Smith’s invisible hand to do the heavy lifting. People in our field sometimes complain about having to raise funds.  And to be … Continue Reading →

Sources of Inspiration

November 5, 2011 By

Stephen King says that when fans asked him where his ideas came from, he answers: “Utica. They come from Utica, New York.”  So here’s my version: “My ideas come from the dentist’s office.” A few weeks ago, I took my younger daughter to a new dentist.  She wasn’t a big fan, but what’re you gonna to … Continue Reading →

Power to the people

August 19, 2011 By

Worldreader is conducting a small trial at our US Test Facility (OK, my back yard.)  In June, Jon McCormack took a charger to Kenya to see how it would hold up in the field. It worked well, and will work even better once we address some practical questions about whether to charge directly or load up … Continue Reading →

Penguin says yes!

July 22, 2011 By

Worldreader is working so every child in the developing world can have any book he or she wants, using e-readers. When you step way back, you realize that there are at least three groups you need to get on-board to make that dream happen: e-reader manufacturers, book publishers, and kids. Today’s hero is the Penguin … Continue Reading →

Building the Awesome

June 3, 2011 By

My old boss Jeff talks passionately about how profoundly satisfying it is to build something important, and every day I understand that more.  At Worldreader we’re creating something new– a new culture of reading in the world’s poorest countries.  Soon we’ll write about what we’re learning: how Worldreader students spend up to 50% more time … Continue Reading →

Kenya’s Ministry of Education Says Yes to Worldreader!

April 7, 2011 By

Yesterday evening, after an amazing show of drive and tenacity, Colin and Elizabeth walked out of Kenya’s Ministry of Education with the attached letter in hand.  Now we have the official backing of the Kenyan Government who want to follow our work at The Kilgoris Project’s Intimigom School to evaluate if it can be scaled up … Continue Reading →

On Reading and Revolutions

February 11, 2011 By

It’s anyone’s guess if the events leading to Mubarak’s resignation would have happened without Facebook and Twitter.  Having visited Egypt myself last year, I can say that there’s been a tremendous amount of frustration and anger building up for years against the President and his policies.  And as many have noted, if the Egyptian people hadn’t … Continue Reading →

What about theft? The Worldreader pledge

December 10, 2010 By

One question friends often ask us is: what happens if the students lose their e-reader, or they get stolen? Of course, it’s a real issue, and we have several strategies we use to deal with this.  (We won’t talk about all of them here.) But so far, we haven’t found it to be a problem. … Continue Reading →