All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge Announces Finalists for the Sign On For Literacy Prize Competition
Today, the USAID-supported All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development (ACR GCD) announces that eKitabu, Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Institute for the Deaf (RIT/NTID) and Manos Unidas will advance as finalists in the Sign On For Literacy prize competition. The three finalists will receive additional funding and the opportunity to pilot and test their innovations in Kenya, the Philippines and Nicaragua, respectively.
The Sign On For Literacy prize competition received more than 100 applications from innovators in 39 countries. In June 2018, ACR GCD announced funding to five semi-finalists to refine their prototypes and then make a pitch before a panel of judges comprised of education and technology specialists in Washington, D.C. Based on those pitches, the three most promising innovators were chosen to advance in field testing their solutions. The innovative ideas selected are:
eKitabu’s Studio KSL
Nairobi, Kenya-based eKitabu will receive $150,000 (in addition to the $25,000 in seed funding they were awarded as semifinalists in 2018) to continue developing and implementing their Studio KSL platform, which documents Kenyan Sign Language (KSL) in a visual glossary and produces KSL videos for integration into accessible books.
RIT/NTID’s World Around You
Rochester, N.Y.-based RIT/NTID will receive $150,000 (in addition to the $25,000 in seed funding they were awarded as semifinalists in 2018) to pilot their World Around You platform in the Philippines. World Around You documents, collects and shares local sign and written languages through an open-content digital library of folktales offered in an interactive bilingual format.
Manos Unidas’ Señas de Sentido (Signs of Meaning)
Storrs Mansfield, Conn.-based nonprofit Manos Unidas will receive $75,000 (in addition to the $25,000 in seed funding they were awarded as semifinalists in 2018) to further develop their Señas de Sentido (Signs of Meaning) project, which will create a corpus of Nicaraguan Sign Language (NSL) including videos and Spanish translations, a language-learning mobile app with downloadable lessons, and a literacy outreach program to train parents of deaf children.
About All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development: Launched in 2011 by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), World Vision and the Australian Government, All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development is a series of competitions that leverages science and technology to source, test, and disseminate scalable solutions to improve literacy skills of early grade learners in developing countries. Learn more.