How many times have we seen communities come together to care for their own, to rebuild after natural disasters, to provide simple acts of kindness to those in need? This is the power of communities.
Today, communities have an opportunity to use that power to address a significant, yet often overlooked, challenge — adult literacy. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), nearly one in six adults in the U.S. read at or below a third grade level, a fact that often makes it difficult for them to advance out of low-paying jobs. Yet because they often work multiple jobs, struggling in their busy lives to make ends meet for their families, most cannot attend classes to build literacy and other needed job skills.
What if we could come together to help solve this problem community by community? Enter the Adult Literacy XPRIZE Communities Competition.
Building on their first adult learning XPRIZE that asked edtech companies to create high-quality mobile learning apps for adults, the Communities Competition is now challenging organizations to design ways to use the power of the community to get these apps into the hands of adults.
Imagine if a job seeker in your community could walk into the local library, job center, or even their child’s school and be offered an app — a high-quality app with research showing that it works — to help them build their literacy skills on their own time, any where they are, at any moment they can sneak it in. As a result, that job seeker, as we’ve seen in other communities, can parlay these skills into a new job or a promotion.
What a difference the opportunity to learn can make. What a difference the community can make.
The Communities Competition is offering a total prize purse of $1 million for communities to think in new ways about how to reach and serve their adult learners. They believe in the creativity, ingenuity, and strength of local organizations and partnerships to find a way to help solve the grand challenge of adult literacy.
Registration for the competition is now open and will continue through December. You can find more detailed information and guidelines on the Adult Literacy XPRIZE Communities Competition website.