Localize Feed The Monster app to 40 high-impact languages

For: Curious Learning
Cambridge, MA
Organizer: Taylor Thompson
of $400,000 goal
80% Complete
Raised by 98 donors

The Story

"Feed the Monster" is a free, open-source app, proven to help kids learn to read.

With support from UNICEF, our team developed a process to localize its language and pedagogy for just $10,000 – making quality literacy apps free for anyone with smartphone access.

We need your support to fund 40 high-impact languages, which will reach 100,000s of children – with 10 left to go!

The Need

600 million children will fail to learn to read. They will earn less money, have worse health, and exercise less political power as a result.

Within a decade, the majority of even the poorest households will have a smartphone. 100 million already do.

Curious Learning’s research shows that kids can teach themselves to read through apps. But, without great apps in their own languages, most kids won’t be able to take advantage of smartphone access to improve their learning. 

Feed The Monster

Feed The Monster was designed to help kids learn to read, evidence shows it works, and kids love playing it!

The game is based around a playful interface where users feed letters, letter sounds, and simple words to monsters. You can download the Android app here, or watch a short demo video here.

Research shows that games like Feed The Monster help kids learn. With researchers at MIT, Tufts and Georgia State, Curious Learning has run more than a dozen pilots with 4,000 children, showing that kids make comparable progress in reading fundamentals to US preschoolers and that it's possible for kids to teach themselves to read without ever attending school.

More recently, an experiment showed that that Feed The Monster is effective: with 22 hours of play, kids improved both literacy fundamentals and reading fluency.

How Localization Works

Curious Learning  developed and tested a process to localize the text, pedagogy, audio and graphics for new languages at a high quality and low cost, by relying on a global network of translators, pedagogues and designers. Through this process, we create new versions of the app for $10,000 per language – a fraction of the cost to build an app like this from scratch.

You can dive deep into the process in our localization guide, and you can sample the original Arabic version and the localized English version.

Language Choice & Supporter Perks

Could you be the person responsible for bringing literacy to the children of an entire language?

Every $10,000 we raise will let us reach a new language. Our 10 remaining priority languages are Amharic, Burmese, Bangla, Gujarati, Javanese, Kannada, Kinyarwanda, Punjabi, Telugu and Tamil. Combined, they have 800 million speakers.

Let us know if you would like to sponsor a particular language you care about, or if you’d like your contribution to go where needed most. To show our thanks, we will also provide the following perks to contributors:

  • Any amount:  Early download of our localized apps
  • $250: Become a Beta tester for future CL apps (FTM localizations, Interactive Story Apps, Literacy Assessment App, Reading Disability Screener)
  • $2,000: Signed book from Maryanne Wolf (Proust and the Squid)
  • $5,000: Listed in the startup screen for an app language
  • $10,000: Pick your own language, and we’ll localize it
  • $25,000: MIT Tour w/ Tinsley Galyean, CL Executive Director and Media Lab PhD & Research Scientist, followed by lunch or dinner with the CL team
  • $50,000: Field visit to South Africa (you'll still need to pay travel expenses)

Offline Donations

We can accept large donations offline by check or PayPal to avoid credit card fees:

Send Paypal donations to [email protected].

Mail checks to Curious Learning, 34A Walker Street, Cambridge, MA 02138. 

Please email us at [email protected] to let us know you’re donating, and whether you’d like us to publish your name and donation amount on this page!

About Curious Learning

Curious Learning is a nonprofit that creates, localizes and distributes free, open source mobile learning games, so anyone with a smartphone can learn to read.

We began as a research project at MIT, Tufts and Georgia State in 2012, to see if kids could learn to read from mobile software. Early results showed that children in Ethiopia, South Africa and the USA made similar reading progress to US preschoolers. In Ethiopia, a third of kids actually taught themselves to read. Feed The Monster teaches reading fundamentals, and is the first in a set of localized apps focused on providing a path to literacy in the languages kids speak.

Our team includes literacy experts, designers, developers and entrepreneurs. Learn more about us at CuriousLearning.org.

The original Feed the Monster app was created in Arabic, as a result of the EduApp4Syria innovation competition. Norway has managed the competition in cooperation with the All Children Reading partnership (USAID, World Vision, DFAT), INEE, the mobile operator Orange and UNICEF Innovation.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on May 11, 2018


Posted on May 11, 2018

Thanks to our generous supporters! We've funded 30 language localizations and just have 10 to go.

Our priorities now are Amharic, Burmese, Bangla, Gujarati, Javanese, Kannada, Kinyarwanda, Punjabi, Telugu and Tamil!

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Localize Feed The Monster app to 40 high-impact languages

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