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Worldreader: The Kindle Classroom Project’s competition

favicon The past month has been slow at the Kindle Classroom Project. Kindles are still coming in, but the pace has been a bit slower than usual.

The other day, I was wondering why, and then I saw this on PBS NewsHour:

Hey, no fair! Why isn’t reporter Jeffrey Brown calling me up to ask for an interview?

I’m kidding, Mr. Brown. You chose an impressive organization to spotlight. Yes, Worldreader is about as old as the Kindle Classroom Project, and I give co-founder David Risher credit. In the time I’ve collected and distributed 87 Kindles, he’s up to more than 12,000.

Sure, Mr. Risher used to be a vice president at Amazon, and he’s got funding through Amazon and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Plus, his website is much fancier than iserotope.com.

With those resources, Worldreader has done an excellent job. The organization understands the importance of reading to fight illiteracy, and it partners well with villages in Sub-Suharan Africa to bring high-quality ebooks to kids. I particularly like Worldreader’s focus on filling up the e-readers with books by African authors.

Mr. Risher began his project in Ghana, close to my favorite West African country, Mali, which I was lucky to visit twice with buildOn, a non-profit organization that builds schools. The students I worked with in Donkelena and Kongolikoro would have loved (like, gone crazy) for a Kindle.

So, because Worldreader is doing important work, and an excellent job at it, I will no longer be secretly jealous of Mr. Risher and all of his success. 🙂 After all, there are plenty of used Kindles out there. If the Kindle Classroom Project gets 100 Kindles for every 1,000 that Worldreader gets, I’ll be happy with that. I will say this: If you’re currently donating to Worldreader, keep doing so, but every once in a while, please check out the KCP Contribute page! favicon

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