What is Worldreader?
Worldreader is an American and European non-profit social enterprise that is transforming the way the developing world reads. Our mission is to unlock the potential of millions of children through the use of digital books in places where access to reading materials is very limited.
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.
What is the FC Barcelona Foundation?
Created in 1994, the FC Barcelona Foundation is the vehicle through which the soccer club, FC Barcelona, fulfills its corporate social responsibilities.
All of FC Barcelona Foundation’s projects use sport as a focal point to promote education and civic values among children and young adults in Catalonia and the rest of the world.
FC Barcelona’s well-known players are heroes for children and inspire them in many ways. We believe these star athletes can also encourage children to read more. To that end, Worldreader, with FC Barcelona’s support, uploaded images of four of the team’s famous players — Messi, Xavi, Keita and Abidal — with personalized messages onto the Kindles of our children in Ghana. Watch this video and see how excited the students were to get a note from Messi about how champions read.
Why use digital books instead of paper books?
Digital books have several advantages over printed books, especially for the developing world where millions of children struggle to get even subsistence access to reading materials.
First, it’s less expensive to publish and distribute e-books than paper books. Widespread mobile phone connectivity, the declining price of hardware devices and increasingly affordable digital content has made e-book delivery a viable low-cost solution for many developing regions. The cost of shipping e-books is nearly zero, even to very remote areas, compared to the $1.00 or more per book it costs to load a shipping container and send it by boat, based on our research and experience.
Also, handheld devices like the Amazon Kindle provide almost immediate access to hundreds of thousands of books, from textbooks to bestsellers. Since e-readers can store thousands of books, they eliminate the need for physical storage and give children, parents and schools access to a much wider selection books than what may be physically available in their communities.
Beyond these benefits, some e-readers have added features such as text-to-speech for new readers, the vision-impaired, or children whose parents cannot read or whose native language is not the language of instruction. Built-in dictionaries and access to Wikipedia can be very helpful. And, digital distribution makes possible the publication of much more local content, including newspapers, magazines, flyers and newsletters, health and voting information, among other things.
Who decides which books are loaded onto the e-readers?
We provide schools, communities and partners with a list of textbooks and storybooks available in our program. Based on their interests and needs, they choose which books they want loaded onto the e-readers. They also have access to hundreds of thousands of books for purchase, although many may be priced too high to be of significant local interest.
In addition, students and teachers can download free books and samples onto their e-readers.
For a list of the books currently available at very low cost or free to Worldreader programs, click here.
What does my $5 donation include?
Five dollars represents Worldreader’s average cost of delivering one e-book to a child in Africa. It includes a portion of the cost of e-reader, an e-book, digitizing and delivering e-books, training teachers, and other related program costs.
How will my donation be used?
Your donation, which will be combined with donations from others, allows us to continue to send more e-readers and e-books to the developing world.
What else can I do to help?
There are many ways to get involved and help Worldreader send 1 million e-books to Africa. Here are few ideas:
Shout as loud as you can that children in Africa need books and that you, Worldreader and FC Barcelona are doing something about it together. Tell your friends that they can make a difference as well!
Where can I learn more?
Visit Worldreader’s main web site– worldreader.org– for videos, reports, and more!