| April 22, 2011

A Little Help From Our Friends


Judging by recent news that e-book sales surpassed paperback books and the price of e-reader technology keeps dropping, it’s safe to say we’re witnessing a massive shift in the publishing world.  Worldeader wants to bring the developing world in on that change so that students (like Deborah and Gideon seen here in our latest video) have the tools to become whatever they dream of: in Deborah’s case, a doctor and in Gideon’s, a soccer player in Europe.  Gideon hopes that others in Ghana, with a literacy rate at just 65%, will be like him some day and have an e-reader.  Worldreader is just at the first stop of a long journey: we’re fine-tuning our methods with careful pilots in Ghana and developing know-how in Kenya that we’ll use to expand into all of the developing world.   We’re at the first stop, yes, but we’re already making a huge difference in the lives of hundreds of kids—and soon many more.

All this would not be possible without our partnersM-Edge just shipped over hundreds of reading lights to our students in Ghana- joining the already generous donation of e-reader cases.  It’s a gesture that enables students to read more: now children can read after the sun goes down.  Thanks to our partners, every $200 e-reader has a value of almost $500, once you consider e-reader cases, lights, e-books etc.  And thanks to our partners, we’re making a pretty powerful equation a reality:  price per book decreases as number of books read rises.

So, that’s why we want to give a warm shout out to some folks who have stepped up as of late.  Butterfield and Robinson, creator of luxury active trips, has chosen us at their charity of the year.  Erik Blachford, CEO and Chairman, was at a recent Worldreader fundraiser and got inspired to make a generous donation.  B&R will be sharing our work with their clients– world explorers, all of them, and many whom are Kindle lovers and can’t imagine life without books.  “We love what you guys are doing, and want to be a part of it,” Director of Marketing Kathy Stewart told me.

Catherine MacDonald, founder of BookLending echoed Kathy and has chosen us as their official charity; they’re trying to raise $5,000 in the next 6 weeks.  We love that organizations are stepping forward… and individuals too- such as the authors who are donating their books for free to Worldreader programs – and companies like DigiRonin Games creator of educational flash cards.  We thank you for helping us “create a reading culture” as Publisher’s Weekly reported last week.  You’re making a huge difference!

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