November 16, 2022
All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development (ACR GCD) awardee Bloom was recognized as one of the 100 most impactful and scalable education innovations in the HundrED Global Collection 2023.
The HundrED Global Collection recognizes innovations that have had the largest impact on global K-12 education, with an emphasis on students in low resource contexts. The theme for 2023 was “teachers for transformation,” highlighting the important role of teachers in education innovation.
Bloom was selected from more than 3,000 innovations for inclusion in HundrED’s sixth Global Collection. The HundrED Academy of academics, educators, innovators, funders and leaders from 113 countries reviewed the shortlist of innovations. They recognized the most impactful and scalable global innovations that are available to anyone for free.
Bloom was created in 2012 by the non-profit SIL International and has impacted the lives of over 4.5 million people in 89 countries. SIL recognized the challenge of local educators to create learning materials in underserved languages for children to read and use at school and developed Bloom, free, open-source software that allows users to build local vocabulary to easily create story books in languages they use and understand. Books can be printed, read on a computer or enjoyed offline through a free Android app. Bloom books can also be shared with others through the Bloom Library. The Bloom Library hosts more than 12,000 books in more than 525 languages, including local sign languages.
“Since 2012, this innovation has had an impact on several essential areas in education: reading, language and culture,” a HundrED Academy member wrote in their review of Bloom’s software. “Its ease of use and its local adaptation make this innovation a real value. The number of books produced is very high.”
People around the world are using Bloom to create their own books, improving literacy rates in their communities.
Paul Frank, Bloom program director, hopes that recognition in the HundrED Global Collection will empower more communities to learn to read with Bloom.
“HundrED informally defines innovations as ‘ideas that work.’ We are pleased that Bloom is seen as matching that definition,” Frank said. “The Academy members that reviewed Bloom saw it as both highly impactful and already highly scaled. We are honored by this recognition and will do our best to live up to what it signifies.”
Learn more about SIL International and subsidiary SIL LEAD’s past and current ACR GCD-funded projects, which are making reading more accessible. For example, SIL has enhanced Bloom software with “born accessible” reading features and added software solutions that allow authors to create and export texts in underserved languages. SIL LEAD has created over 420 accessible books in underserved languages in Mali and leveraged the Bloom Reader app in Papua New Guinea to support families in local and signed languages.
By Jamie Brian, All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development, a partnership between USAID, World Vision and the Australian Government