Houston Coalition Vies for XPRIZE

We are excited to share that a coalition of literacy partner agencies, including EastSide University, Memorial Assistance Ministries, Literacy Advance and Community Family Centers, were selected to compete nationally for funds to increase adult literacy rates through the XPRIZE Communities Competition hosted by the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. In the Communities Competition, a total of $1 million will be awarded, with $500,000 available for community coalitions who submit the most innovative, feasible and scalable plans, and $500,000 for community coalitions who recruit the most adult learners to download and consistently use a smartphone-based app to improve learner's confidence, independence and agency in English, reading, and digital literacy. The smartphone-based apps were selected through a national competition as part of the multi-year XPRIZE competition. Over the next few months, the Houston community coalition will be seeking out adults aspiring to learn English and how to read to download and use the app.

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Launched on former first lady Barbara Bush’s 90th birthday in 2015, the $7M Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE presented by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation challenges teams to develop mobile applications for smartphones that increase literacy skills among participating adult learners. With research showing that 77 percent of Americans now own a smartphone, the competition aims to dramatically change the way the United States meets the needs of the 36 million adults with low literacy skills, by tackling the largest obstacles to achieving basic literacy – access, retention and scale.