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Manhattan, NY: Help Solve the Literacy Crisis as a UX/Beta Testing Team Lead

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American Youth Literacy Foundation

3 reading is forever

Have you ever wanted to do something AMAZING to change the world but didn't know where to start?

Here is an opportunity to help underprivileged children, to help under-served children, to help ALL children, and even to help adults who can't read.

We are looking for three, very special people, who have the skills, expertise, experience, passion, and time to be part of something amazing that is about to fundamentally change the lives of millions of children. Right now, millions of children have no hope; but soon, they will have the opportunity to learn how to read, which, in turn, will open a window to education and to a world of potential for them that, not only, has never been opened before, but that has never even been seriously contemplated as a potential reality.

What we are talking about is an adaptive learning, smartphone app, that can literally, teach a child to read in and average of just 12 hours of total use time!

We are the American Youth Literacy Foundation, and we have been teaching children how to read for 11 years! We have been developing this app for about two years, and this year we will launch this incredible smartphone app in the App Store and on Google Play by Thanksgiving, 2020!

We are partnered with an engineering team that was one of the five $1 million finalists in the XPrize for Global Learning competition (the winners of which were announced this past May), which was a worldwide competition for app design and development teams from around the world to design, build and deliver a tablet-based app to children in remote villages in Africa which could teach them how to read and do basic math (children of all ages, most of whom had never been to school before in their lives).

The curriculum that our app is based on is a patented reading decoding system, and is so effective at teaching children how to read, that it usually only takes 4-6 hours for them to understand the basic learning tools, and another 4-6 hours for them to reach a 2nd grade reading level. Compare this to so many of our students who have been in the public school system for 6 years and still can't spell the word "the." Compare this to millions of students who have dropped out of school, primarily because they can't read (more than 10 million per decade).

More than 20 million children in grades 3-12 in America's public schools today can't read!

Our organization is an 11 year old, nationwide, charitable 501 c 3 non-profit. We started out as a tutoring program and we still provide one-on-one tutoring. But our focus has always been on finding a scaleable solution to the literacy crisis in America.

With the rise of the smartphone and the amazing penetration of this powerful tool (currently estimated at 80%), even into the most impoverished communities, we feel that the answer we have been searching for IS in the form of an app. So for the past several years we have been working to convert our amazing reading curriculum, that teaches children how to read in an average of just 12 hours, into an app that teaches children how to read in about the same time. And this is where you come in.

We have a LOT of opportunity in front of us to finish building and testing, and, ultimately, to deliver an end-user experience (the UX) to millions of children in America's inner cities and rural counties, to the barrios and the suburbs, and to the American Indian reservations, and everywhere in-between, with this smartphone app.

But in order to do this, we need to complete three pieces of the equation: The Horse, The Cart, and the Payload.

The Horse is the curriculum; and it is well under way in the conversion process from an analog to a digital curriculum.

The Cart is the distribution system, the "how do we get it out into communities and to the children, once it's built?" Despite what some may think, just because we put an app in the App Store, doesn't mean it will go viral. There's an old adage that goes, "build a better mousetrap, and the world will NOT beat a path to your door!" You still have to market, publicize and distribute your invention, even if it's FREE, like ours!

And the Payload is the UX (the user experience). But it's not just the child (the ultimate beneficiary) who must enjoy the experience enough to continue through the progressive learning modules, but it's the parent, or guardian, or friend, or grandparent, or sibling, or concerned adult, who must also be supported. And for that we are building the support system and the support network that will scale with the app, and not constrain the growth and penetration of the app into the interstitial spaces of American society. The UX must be tested and must be proven to work in a controlled environment before it is released into an uncontrolled environment like the App Store or Google Play, where its success will depend upon ease of use, ease of understanding and the support that we provide to caring adults who download the app for the purpose of saving their child from living a life of impoverishment, without education, and without hope.

There's much more to tell. You can read more about our story and about us on our website at www.YouthLit.org.

But right now, we are looking for 3 very special people who have everything we mentioned above, passion, expertise, time, etc. to join our team and help us launch this app in 2020. Our three UX/Beta Testing team leads will help develop, plan and execute two separate beta testing phases, one in the spring, with our current beta prototype, and one in the summer with our future version 1.0 app. The testing will take place under controlled conditions with UX research being done to include both the parent and the student as they go through this experience together. All of this requires experienced, strategic, creative thinking, planning and excellent communications and writing skills.

If you wish to be considered for this opportunity to be one of the three leads for our UX/Beta Testing Team, please send us a cover letter and resume to info@YouthLit.org.

We are looking for intelligent, creative, enthusiastic, cheerful, optimistic individuals with significant UX research and beta testing experience, in either a corporate or non-profit environment, and preferably, but not essentially, related to app development. This is a complex undertaking and we are looking for highly proficient and organized professionals. Just to be clear, our organization is an all volunteer, mission-centric, extended virtual network, comprised of highly skilled and experienced individuals from around the country (and a few from around the world) who collaborate through cloud-based technology and platforms. Individuals interested in this position must have the confidence and ability to work in a virtual environment using select networking and communications tools and platforms.

Thank you! We hope this opportunity finds you at the right place and the right time in your career to make a difference and an impact, in an amazing way, for millions of children who are waiting for someone, or some thing, to lead them out of a life of impoverishment and into a future of unlimited possibility and potential.

We look forward to hearing from you and speaking with you about the future of literacy in America.

Mr. R. Kali Woodward
Founding, Executive Director

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About American Youth Literacy Foundation



Mission Statement

The mission of the American Youth Literacy Foundation is to help ALL American children become literate before they reach the end of 5th grade by providing simple, phonics-based tools and reading curricula, together with training and support, to parents, teachers, tutors and organizations that work directly with students in need.


In support of our mission, Youth Lit develops and directs free after school tutoring programs in association with public libraries, YMCA's and other community outreach organizations. Most of our tutors are high school and college student volunteers who are earning community service credits while making a valuable contribution to their communities.

Children & Youth
Education & Literacy


We'll work with your schedule.


Manhattan and vicinityManhattan, NY 10004



  • Literacy / Reading
  • Strategic Planning
  • Product Development
  • Web Design / UX
  • Critical Thinking
  • Problem Solving




  • Must be at least 18
  • Orientation or Training
  • Periodic meetings with tasking in-between; as much time as you can commit. Your ability to commit time to this will be a determining factor. If you can only commit limited time but still want to participate, we will keep your resume on file.

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