Worldreader is a nonprofit championing digital reading in underserved communities to help readers build a better world. Our mission statement follows:
Worldreader works globally with partners to support vulnerable and underserved communities with digital reading solutions that help improve learning outcomes, workforce readiness, and gender equity.
Read about our history here and meet our global team here. We operate in the United States as a not-for-profit public charity under IRC Sec. 501(c)(3). In Spain, we are organized as a not-for-profit Fundación under the auspices of the Ministry of Education. In Ghana, we operate as a not-for-profit organization recognized by the Department of Social Welfare. In the UK, Worldreader is a Registered Charity.
We work in parts of the world where paper books are scarce or unavailable due to high costs, challenges with distribution, and storage. Digital technology allows us to reach these underserved communities in a faster and more scalable way.
Readers need to see themselves in the stories they are reading. Over the years we’ve built a library of over 12,000 books in 52 languages. Many of which are by local publishers in local languages that depict the lives, challenges, and triumphs of our readers.
The sustainability of a program is of top priority whenever we launch a reading program. To ensure this, we work closely with parents, teachers, librarians, and local communities to ensure that they acquire the knowledge and comfort needed to properly integrate digital technology into their lives.
Sustainable Development Goals alignment
It’s about more than just helping people read. Our library has been designed to help improve learning outcomes, workforce readiness, and gender equity among our readers – in other words, our work aims to advance Sustainable Development Goals 4, 5, and 8.
A hybrid home-to-school model
We understand the importance of parental involvement in a child’s growth, particularly in the earlier years of a child’s life. That’s why Worldreader’s programs support a child’s learning inside and outside of the classroom. We do this by giving parents and caregivers the tools they need to read with young children at home.
Our mobile app is completely free worldwide. When it comes to our reading programs on the ground, we’ve worked with schools, libraries, households, and communities in 48 countries and counting. Our operating regions currently include West Africa, East Africa, South Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and Latin America. Read more about our regions here.
Digital books have several advantages over printed books, especially in communities where children and families struggle to get access to physical books.
It’s less expensive to publish and distribute e-books than paper books. Widespread mobile phone connectivity, the declining cost of digital devices, and increasingly affordable digital content has made mobile reading a viable low-cost solution for many developing regions. In addition, the data cost of a whole library of e-books is low, even in very remote areas, as books can be downloaded and read later to further save on data.
Wide availability of devices
Mass-market mobile phones using 2G and 3G networks are widely available and commonly used in the developing world, allowing us to reach hundreds of thousands of people via devices they already carry in their pockets.
Worldreader’s digital library comes with a built-in dictionary and multiple customizable formats, including language customization and font sizes. What’s more, depending on the device used, digital books can also be read in the dark.
Digital distribution enables the publication of more diverse content than a traditional physical book, including newspapers, magazines, flyers, newsletters, health and voting information, and other materials that can help empower communities.
Electricity in schools and libraries
Significant progress is being made every year to bring electricity to underserved communities around the world.
However, there remains work to be done, particularly in many of the countries we serve in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, where one billion people still live without electricity.
That being said, most of the schools and libraries we work with have access to electricity. For those that don’t, we offer a solar solution that allows schools and libraries to power their devices.
Internet coverage for mobile phones
Today, 10% of the world’s population lives in areas that are not covered by mobile broadband – this is known as the “coverage gap.”
The good news is this number is shrinking every year. Acceleration in network rollouts by mobile operators have resulted in a significant reduction of the “coverage gap.”
That means that every day more and more people can access our digital library of books via their mobile phones.
Since 2010, Worldreader has curated a library of over 12,000 books. These books have been carefully chosen with our readers in mind. Key features of our library include:
- Age-appropriate books
- Culturally relevant stories
- Curricularly aligned materials
- Social-emotional learning concepts
- Stories that promote gender equality
- A combination of local and international authors
Our aim is to deliver a library of books to help people read for education, economic opportunity, better health, gender equality, and just for fun.
For every new reading program, we take a careful look at our library and make sure we have the right books available to ensure positive growth and learning outcomes for the reader. We also look at our data to understand the books readers are engaging with most. And, as we continue to refine and grow the library, our network of local and international publishers keeps expanding.
BookSmart is an all-in-one digital reading solution for schools, libraries, youth programs, and homes.
BookSmart for classroom gives educators access to 150+ digital books that are delivered via tablet. Educators will receive training in digital reading integration and access to data insights that track reading progress. Learn more about it here.
BookSmart for home allows parents and caregivers to access a library from their mobile phones so they can support their children’s learning after the school day. Download the BookSmart app on your mobile phone here.
The Worldreader app
The Worldreader app is a digital library with over 12,000 books in 52 languages for young adults. It is available for download in the Google Play store, Opera Mobile Store, and Windows Store. You may also use the app through a mobile web browser at read.worldreader.org. You can read more about the Worldreader app here.
For regular updates on projects, including launches, milestones, research findings, and thought leadership pieces related to our projects, check out our Worldreader Now channel.
For a more in-depth look at our past projects, you can read our project reports on the learnings page.
To see past and ongoing projects featured in each of the regions, you can also visit our regional pages.
App & E-Reader FAQs
BookSmart for schools will give you and your students access to a quality collection of over 150+ digital books delivered via tablets.
The solution includes partner branding options, booklist customization, access to reading data and insights, and a training program. The service costs approximately $0.50 per student per month, with discounts for large volumes. To bring BookSmart to your school, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BookSmart on your mobile phone
Once you’ve downloaded the app, you’ll be able to access a free open collection of children’s books. We also offer a premium collection for Africa, MENA, LATAM, and India. To purchase the premium collection, contact us at email@example.com.
The Worldreader app is an e-book reading application that allows millions of people in underserved communities to have access to our digital library of +40,000 titles on a device they already own: their mobile phone. Our Worldreader app is available for download in the Google Play store, Opera Mobile Store, and Windows Store. You can also use the app through a mobile web browser at read.worldreader.org.
No, you do not need to sign up for an account to access our books. If you sign up for an account, you will be given access to more features, such as tracking your reading progress and receiving personalized recommendations based on your preferences and reading level.
If you can’t find a title we used to carry, it may be because we no longer have that specific book in our library. If you are using the ‘search’ tool to find a book, try using different words from the title or searching for the author’s name.
If you are having trouble downloading a book, check your connection or restart your device.
If you’re still having technical issues or other issues, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and please explain the issue you are facing. Include a screenshot if appropriate.
Each of these apps has been designed and optimized for a specific age-group. Our BookSmart app is for pre-primary and primary aged children, while the Worldreader app is for young adults.
Each of the apps has its own unique library of books that has been curated based on the needs of the readers. While our BookSmart app specializes in delivering children’s books, our Worldreader app primarily has books for youth and adults.
The type of reading program
When it comes to bringing reading programs to children in schools, libraries, and homes, books are delivered via the BookSmart app. When it comes to reading programs targeting youth and adults, such as our Avanzalee project in Mexico, or our Anasoma project in Kenya, we use our Worldreader app.
You can read more about the Worldreader app here.
You can read more about BookSmart here.
We take privacy very seriously at Worldreader. We will only collect information at the country level based on your IP address. We follow the General Data Protection Regulation EU 2016/679, local legislation and guidance from data protection agencies. We take these steps to ensure safeguards for your personal data.
Read our responsible program data policy here.
View our privacy notice for Worldreader applications here.
Donor, Career, and Volunteer FAQs
You can make a one-time or monthly donation here.
You can sponsor a school by emailing email@example.com.
You can sponsor a collection by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read about other available donation options here. We accept Amazon Donations, stock donations, wire transfers, and check payments by mail.
Yes. We operate in the United States as a not-for-profit public charity under IRC Sec. 501(c)(3). Our tax-exempt status became effective March 23, 2010, our date of incorporation. For U.K. donors, Worldreader is a registered charity (1158030). In Spain, we are organized as a not-for-profit Fundación under the auspices of the Ministry of Education (fiscal ID: G65520744). In Ghana, we operate as a not-for-profit organization recognized by the Department of Social Welfare (TIN: C0002554135). Click here to make a donation.
Thank you for your interest in fundraising with us!
Facebook is a great way to start a fundraiser for Worldreader, while easily letting your friends and family know about it.
Another way to start a fundraiser is by using a fundraising platform like Go Fund Me.
If you need material to create flyers, web pages, or marketing materials in your campaign, check out our Brand Assets page.
If you would like some assistance in creating a fundraising campaign, or if you would like a promotion of your campaign, email the Marketing & Communications team at email@example.com.