Projects | October 26, 2023

The Catherine Mayer Foundation and Worldreader Combine Arts and Reading for Youth in India and the United States


Worldreader and The Catherine Mayer Foundation join forces to harness the power of creativity and the visual arts to get children reading in India and the United States.

October 2023 – San Francisco, CA and Seattle, WA, United States

Worldreader and The Catherine Mayer Foundation are pleased to announce a new partnership that will leverage art and creativity to strengthen children’s love of reading, and reinforce reader engagement in India and the United States.

In this innovative partnership, the two organizations will combine the benefits of Catherine Mayer Foundation’s L.A.U.G.H.® App – an evidenced-based art app that calms, focuses, and brings happiness and a sense of community to its users – and Worldreader’s award-winning BookSmart reading app and programming to enhance reading engagement of children. Young readers will be able to create drawings within the app that correlate to the stories they are reading on BookSmart, blending storytelling with art expression and unleashing their creativity through book-inspired activities powered by The L.A.U.G.H. ® App. 

By integrating their solutions, Worldreader and The Catherine Mayer Foundation will provide under-resourced children, as well as their families and educators, with the tools they need to improve their reading and social-emotional skills every day, maximizing learning outcomes.

We are committed to helping build positive reading environments for children and families and supporting them throughout their learning journey. When we encourage daily reader engagement and nurture a child’s emotional intelligence, boosting their focus and creativity, we empower them to reach their full potential in school and life.

Rebecca Chandler Leege, CEO of Worldreader

We are proud to partner with Worldreader to bring The L.A.U.G.H.® App to children across the globe so they can experience the benefits of combining storytelling with creating art in an unconstrained environment within the app. Art allows everyone who engages with it to get out of themselves, and when you combine multiple forms, the benefits we have seen through research show it calms, focuses, and brings happiness and a sense of community to youth and adults alike.

Catherine Mayer, founder of The Catherine Mayer Foundation

Worldreader will pilot the integration of The L.A.U.G.H.®  App in three schools in India and several schools in the United States, starting October 2023. The integration will be grounded in research and will measure reading engagement and behavior, as well as children’s emotional response, with the goal of scaling the program across more readers. 

About Worldreader

Worldreader gets children reading so they can reach their potential. The international nonprofit works with partners to support parents/caregivers reading to and with their children around the world, because regular reading leads to improved educational outcomes, stronger emotional intelligence, and higher earning potential. BookSmart, Worldreader’s complete reading experience app, improves reading comprehension, social-emotional learning (SEL), and digital literacy skills for children ages 3-12 years old. Since 2010, Worldreader has supported more than 22 million readers in over 100 countries. In 2023, Woldreader was awarded the US Library of Congress’ Literacy Award, International Prize for its work in advancing global literacy.

About The Catherine Mayer Foundation

The Catherine Mayer Foundation was born from artist Catherine Mayer’s lifelong passion for how the arts can “help people get out of themselves”. Built upon the idea that combining art forms like drawing, music, and movement – together with breathing and other techniques – the Foundation is helping youth and adults reach a state of mindfulness, focus, boost their mood and receptiveness to learning, and build a sense of community. As part of their mission, the Foundation created The L.A.U.G.H.® App (“Let Art Unleash Great Happiness”), which is aligned with established SEL (social and emotional learning) metrics and frameworks. The app allows users to experience drawing in a multi-sensory environment, with an open canvas, and leverages evidence-based research conducted by the University of Washington College of Education and Seattle Children’s Hospital Research Institute. The app has demonstrated significant outcomes including enhanced mood, decreased stress, and improved focus—metrics supported by physiological data and qualitative observations.

Media contacts


Wendi Huestis
Chief Advancement Officer
Contact Wendi

The Catherine Mayer Foundation

Caitlin Dietrich
Board Member, Head of Communications
The Catherine Mayer Foundation
Contact Caitlin