Yesterday Worldreader announced that a whole lot of major publishers have come on board their work and have agreed to donate hundreds of ebooks to their project to bring ebooks to kids in poor rural African schools.
The publishers who have made this wonderful gesture of support are Simon and Schuster, RandomHouse, Egmont, Penguin, Puffin, Harper Collins and Ripley’s who have donated completely free some 500 text books and story books written by contemporary African writers and some 450 titles written by American authors.
Thousands of ebooks:
This means that the roughly 1000 kids who already have the Kindle ereaders that Worldreader have so far distributed to African schools in three countries will now have completely free of charge, access to well over 1000 contemporary ebooks (as well as the many thousands of free ebooks that they can get from sites like Gutenberg and others).
So far Worldreader have been able to distribute almost 200 000 ebooks to these kids, and have opened up such a world of possibility to them. A wonderful project.
Worldreader have also announced that by the end of this year, they hope to have distributed some 3500 ereaders to these kids, and in 2013 they plan to start in Rwanda as well. And hope that by the end of 2013 to have distributed some 10 000 ereaders to rural schools in Africa.
To put this into context, until Worldreader started this project, most rural schools in Africa had no books at all, or perhaps one or two, which had to be shared by all the kids, and thus reading was something that most of these kids never got a real chance to do.. This has all been changed now by Worldreader and their Kindles, and if you follow the reports on my blog and on Worldreader’s website, you will see for yourself what a revolution and revelation having access to lots and lots of ebooks of all sorts has brought about in the lives of these fortunate kids and their communities, and in passing, the very beneficial effects it is already beginning to have on writing and publishing in Africa as well.
One of the authors who has donated her entire body of work to this project is Mary Pope Osborne, author of the best-selling “Magic Tree House” series of children’s books, who on hearing about this project was concerned about how well the Kindles survived in the hands of the kids, but once she was assured that in fact the kids looked after the Kindles very well indeed, decided to donate her entire body of work to the project, saying “I think what they’re doing is beyond words, really.”
In this magnanimous gesture, she is not alone, more and more authors are seeing the great benefits of giving these kids the key to books, and have also realised that giving their books in this form to Worldreader cost them no loss in sales, as none of these kids could buy any of these books anyhow, so for both publishers and authors, it is a painless way of doing something of incalculable value for these people….
Link to Worldreader: http://blog.worldreader.org/
Link to New York Times article about this news: Click here
Other posts here about Worldreader; Use the search box top right of this blog to see them all:
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What is your feeling about this gesture on the part of these publishers? Do share your thoughts, oh, and click on the box to the right of your screens and donate some money to their work as well….