During these uncertain times, how can we help?
See below to access our COVID-19 Resource Hub, and to explore our growing directory of both COVID-19-specific and virtual volunteering opportunities.
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 displaced from school by COVID-19, to help close the opportunity gap in America, by closing the education gap, by closing the literacy gap that looms large, like an impassable crevasse, separating the haves from the have-nots, the rich, the almost rich, the upper middle class, even the middle class, from the more than 100 million lower class, lower middle class, working class poor, impoverished and underprivileged Americans.
We are looking for a few very special people, with fundraising, particularly, crowdsourcing expertise, either in the corporate or non-profit arena, 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 viable, potential reality.
What we are talking about is an adaptive learning, gamified smartphone app, called FUNetix (www.FUNetix.org), that can teach children how to read, in their own home, in an average of just 12 hours of total instruction time!
We are the American Youth Literacy Foundation, and we have been teaching children how to read for 12 years using a patented "reading decoding system!" We have been developing this app for about two years (but started concepting and working on prototypes almost five years ago); and this year we will launch this incredible smartphone app in the App Store and on Google Play at or around Thanksgiving, 2020, to help save millions of children from a lifetime of illiteracy!
Already, there are millions of children who are struggling to learn how to read. Already, there are millions more who have given up on reading and are destined to go through life either completely illiterate, or with only semi-literate skills at best. And now with the displacement of 55 million children from school, for an indeterminate amount of time, the loss of reading capacity of the next generation, and the "seemingly incessant," "widening of the gap," presents a new "crisis moment" in American education, and a very real threat to the future success (in school, and in life) of millions of young children.
But we believe there IS a way to bridge that gap, to make this a "watershed moment" instead of a crisis moment, by stopping that gap from widening. Universal access to literacy through FUNetix will close the opportunity gap by closing the education gap by closing the literacy gap to near zero. What happens after that, can only be imagined: a virtuous cycle of communication and learning, perhaps, between teachers and students, in ALL of America’s schools and classrooms. And what happens after that? An entire generation of nearly 100% literate young people of all races, religions, creeds, cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds will, quite inevitably, reform the social fabric of the American landscape for the good, and for the benefit of innumerable generations to come.
According to the U.S. Government’s "Annual Report Card," more than 20 million children in grades 3-12, in America's public schools today, can't read at anything close to a proficient level! Translated into "English," that means they are either completely illiterate ("Below Basic:" 24%), or functionally illiterate/ semi-literate ("Basic:" 43%). Fully more than half of all America’s public-school-educated children have between zero and minimal literacy skills. This travesty exists in spite of the fact that, as a nation, we spend more than $11,000 per year, per student, to deliver a public school "education." Just over 24% of all students drop out of public school, most of them in 9th grade. That's 1 million per year!
Since the year 2000, America has "graduated" more than 20 million illiterate "students" into the U.S. economy, into our socio-economic and socio-political marketplace of ideas without hope, and without basic survival skills. Without literacy, and without education, these young people have practically zero chance at fulfilling their personal potential; and economic security is simply unattainable. That’s all about to change!
The American Youth Literacy Foundation, dba FUNetix, is a 12 year old, nationwide, charitable 501 (c) (3) non-profit. We started out as a tutoring program in the regional Philadelphia, Central New Jersey area and we still provide some one-on-one tutoring. But our focus has always been on finding a scalable solution to the literacy crisis in America.
With the rise of the smartphone and the amazing penetration of this incredibly powerful, and ubiquitously critical tool (currently estimated at 80%), even into the most impoverished communities in America, we realized several years ago, that the answer to scalability we had been searching for, was going to be 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.
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 reading-learning system, (which includes a FUN, but intensive introduction to all 44 sounds of the English language, and the basic concept of blending sound symbols into words), and another 4-6 hours for them to reach a 2nd grade reading level!
On, or about, Thanksgiving, 2020, we will deliver this incredible reading app to the App Store and Google Play, and with it, an end-user experience (the UX) to millions of children in America's inner cities and rural counties, in the barrios and the suburbs, and on the American Indian reservations, and everywhere in-between, where illiteracy is endemic and education and opportunity are, tragically, not universally attainable.
FUNetix will make a profound impact on millions of individual lives, while also profoundly effecting major social improvement on a massive scale, to bring about real, sustainable change in underprivileged and fully privileged communities and classrooms alike, wherever illiteracy and poor literacy looms. Literacy as a path to education and opportunity for millions of American children, and potentially billions of children worldwide, is imminently near. Through FUNetix, the American Youth Literacy Foundation is making English accessible to everyone!
The curriculum consists of more than 2,000, individually narrated screens. We first teach children the 44 sounds of the English language. Then we teach them how to "map," or, associate symbols to each of these sounds. We teach them how to blend those sound symbols and those sounds together to make words and sentences and, ultimately, stories. It usually takes them only 4 hours to learn how to read our super child-friendly, phonetic English code called 21E. Over the next 4 hours, children learn how to use those sound symbols as a "diacritic" pronunciation guide to help them decode ANY English word. We call this the FUNetix Magic Decoder, because it works like magic: the magic symbols above the words reveal the hidden sounds of EVERY English word!
FUNetix, the team, is a mission-focused, distributed network of currently, 51 people (and still growing), each contributing between 5 and 65 hours of volunteer time per week. The FUNetix organization is organized into 12 teams including Project Management, Graphic Design, Curriculum Development, UX/Beta Testing, Engineering, Community Outreach and Distribution, Web Development, Funding, Marketing, Communications and Public Relations, and others.
There's much more to tell. You can read more about our story, and about us, at www.FUNetix.org and www.YouthLit.org. We have much more to do to get ready for our Thanksgiving launch!
As for our Crowdsourcing Experts, we are looking for three, very special people, who have everything we mentioned above: passion, expertise, time, etc., to join our team and help us launch the FUNetix Reading App this fall.
The ideal candidate will have a broad, deep and sophisticated understanding of, and experience in, raising money through social media and crowdsourcing sites like Kickstarter and GoFundMe, among others.
Ultimately, our mission is to get the app, and via the app, literacy, out to the children who need it most; and for that, we still require significant funding to finish the app and implement our initial marketing and distribution strategy. We believe that with the right messaging, we will find potentially tens of thousands of people willing to help with this incredible cause and this incredible effort, by contributing small amounts. Our current needs for finishing the app and executing our marketing and distribution strategy fall between $100K and $200k; so this is not an insignificant amount. But the goal is to utilize this second round of funding to allow us to develop additional revenue streams that will take us forward into the future and allow us to continue to bring the, absolutely FREE, FUNetix 12 Hour Reading App to millions of children both in the U.S., and around the world.
in many ways, our Thanksgiving launch will be more of a beginning than an end. It will be the beginning of a tireless effort to deliver the solution to the streets and homes and schools of America where children are trying, but endlessly failing at learning how to read.
If you wish to be considered for this opportunity, please send us a cover letter and resume to HR@YouthLit.org, and tell us about your crowdsourcing and fundraising experience.
We are looking for intelligent, creative, enthusiastic, cheerful, optimistic individuals, who have the time, energy, expertise and desire to make a true difference and be part of something amazing! This is a complex undertaking and we are looking for highly proficient and organized professionals. Individuals interested in this position must have the experience and ability to work in a virtual environment using select networking, file sharing, and communications tools and platforms, and must have extensive knowledge and experience in crowdsourcing websites and campaigns.
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, to add value, in an amazing way, to help 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
492 REGINALD LN, COLLEGEVILLE, PA 19426, US
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.
We'll work with your schedule.
greater philadelphiacollegeville, PA 19426
June 29, 2020