World Bank Awards Top Winner for Scaling Literacy Innovation Worldwide

For Immediate Release

Ilene Rosenthal, CEO

WASHINGTON, June 22, 2021 – In a highly competitive pool of 4,000 global submissions, only one digital education solution was recognized by the World Bank and the Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania. The jointly developed global competition, Ideas for Action (I4A), provides a one-of-a-kind platform for solving the world’s most pressing development challenges. The education award went to ELAN, a project of Teach the World Foundation.

Teach the World Foundation was created to reduce illiteracy in developing countries by leveraging digital technology solutions. Its literacy partner, Footsteps2Brilliance, develops gamified curriculum that engages students in the learning experience. Teach the World Foundation scales the literacy solution in innovative ways: in-schools through tablets, out of school via one-room micro-schools, and by making literacy apps available via smartphones for at-home learning. Third-party research confirmed that Teach the World Foundation students out-performed students learning by traditional means.

Teach the World Foundation discovered Footsteps2Brilliance’s ability to scale early literacy through its Model Innovation Cities® in the United States.  Model Innovation Cities are citywide literacy initiatives that leverage the mobile devices that parents already own to ensure that students are kindergarten ready and reading proficiently by third grade.  During COVID, districts using Footsteps2Brilliance experienced a 76% increase in student participation, and achievement gains in all literacy domains.

“Footsteps2Brilliance provides a strong model for innovation that has been recognized internationally to democratize literacy in even the poorest countries.  We are thrilled to be working with organizations like Teach the World Foundation and their outstanding leaders who are proving that investing in early childhood literacy is not only the right thing to do but is also a smart strategy that creates intergenerational prosperity,” says Ilene Rosenthal, CEO of Footsteps2Brilliance.

Through networking and promotion supported by the partners, Teach the World Foundation will now have a unique opportunity to share their winning ideas in a forthcoming publication.


About Ideas for Action

Established in 2013, the Youth Summit is an annual event hosted by the World Bank Group (WBG) to engage with youth globally on the most pressing topics facing our generation. The WBG Youth Summit is an affiliate of the Youth-to-Youth (Y2Y) network, the largest volunteer organization at the WBG, which aims to inspire and empower youth within and outside the institution.  The primary goals of the Youth Summit are to: Empower youth to explore innovative ideas to tackle development challenges; provide youth with the tools to build and engage in impactful projects; promote dialogue between youth, the WBG, and other key stakeholders globally.


About Footsteps2Brilliance, Inc.

Footsteps2Brilliance, Inc. is the breakthrough early learning platform that accelerates early literacy achievement by uniting the power of mobile gaming technology with the latest in cognitive research. Footsteps2Brilliance provides enticing, interactive, 24/7 learning experiences that digitally link school and home to give students the edge they need for success in school today and the world tomorrow.  For further information contact:

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