(SAN DIEGO, CA) July 10, 2018 – Learning Upgrade, an innovative edtech company providing digital, differentiated literacy curriculum designed to support adult learners during learning breakthroughs, today announced that it has been named as one of five finalist teams advancing in the $7M Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE presented by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, a global competition challenging teams to develop mobile applications for existing smart devices that result in the greatest increase in literacy skills among participating adult learners.
Learning Upgrade, headquartered in San Diego, CA, is one of five finalists announced at the 2018 American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans, and awarded $100,000 for advancing.
“We are honored and excited to be named a finalist in the Adult Literacy XPRIZE,” said Vinod Lobo, the co-founder and CEO of Learning Upgrade. “We believe that providing anytime, anywhere instruction to more adult learners has the power to help individuals to reach their full potential and realize their dreams. With the Learning Upgrade app, everyone with a smartphone can start where they are now and move up to where they need to be to succeed in school, earn a diploma, get a better job, or enter college. Our next challenge is to scale up to serve millions of learners and change lives around the world.”
Learning Upgrade is a team of educators, musicians, artists and programmers who have designed more than 900 innovative, sequenced, and engaging lessons focused on English, reading, writing, and math. Each lesson includes engaging songs, videos, games, and rewards that encourage all learners to achieve mastery. The curriculum provides practice activities accompanied by immediate intervention and remediation with multimedia supports. Learners can repeat lessons until they master them, and earn a gold certificate when they become proficient in the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS) for that level.
Learning Upgrade has proven effective in a variety of literacy settings, including adult schools, libraries, community colleges, migrant education, public housing, refugee centers, and workforce training. After successful pilots, Learning Upgrade has expanded deployments at Queens Public Library in New York, Bunker Hill Community College Boston, and READ/San Diego Public Library.
The Adult Literacy XPRIZE aims to dramatically change the way the United States meets the needs of the 36 million adults across the nation with low literacy skills by tackling the largest obstacles to achieving basic literacy: access, retention and scale.
A $3 million grand prize will be awarded to the team with the best performance across all adult learners over a 15-month, 12,000-person field test, currently ongoing in Los Angeles, Dallas, and Philadelphia and concluding in October 2018. A panel of expert judges will analyze the results and the winner will be announced in early 2019. Two $1 million achievement prizes will also be awarded to the teams with the best performance in each of the two key demographic groups: native English speakers and English language learners.
The Learning Upgrade app is available now on the Google Play Store and iTunes. For more information about Learning Upgrade, please visit LearningUpgrade.com.
For more information about the $7M Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE, visit adultliteracy.xprize.org.
About Learning Upgrade
Founded in 1998 by educators, musicians, artists, and programmers in San Diego, Learning Upgrade designs innovative, engaging lessons to support struggling students in reading and math. Through the incorporation of songs, video, games, and educational research, Learning Upgrade has helped more than 1 million students make learning breakthroughs. For more information, please visit LearningUpgrade.com.
XPRIZE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the global leader in designing and implementing innovative competition models to solve the world’s grandest challenges. Active competitions include the Lunar XPRIZE, the $20M NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, the $15M Global Learning XPRIZE, the $10M ANA Avatar XPRIZE, the $7M Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE, the $7M Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE, the $5M IBM Watson AI XPRIZE, and the $1.75M Water Abundance XPRIZE. For more information, visit XPRIZE.org.
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