We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit on a mission to scale English literacy so that every child has access to the educational and economic opportunities it unlocks.
Knowledge of English has emerged as the key to educational and economic opportunities in the global economy, but 100s of millions of children are being left behind.
In California, one in five schoolchildren is an “English Language Learner (ELL)”. In the US, one in ten schoolchildren is an ELL. Their initial struggles with English at school often translate to long-term disadvantage not just in English, but also in science and mathematics. In remote and poor regions in developing nations, the situation is far worse: the odds are stacked against children making their way up the economic ladder without access to qualified teachers.
The global reach of the Internet and of low-cost mobile devices means that we now have a real shot at helping these children. We believe that digital content that brings these children from “zero to reading” can provide that crucial missing first step in their educational journey.
Even in the most remote areas, digital content can now be deployed via low-cost mobile devices “offline,” without requiring continuous Internet connectivity. Our content is designed for seamless scaling worldwide: we do not require prior exposure to English, knowledge of any other language, or supervision by skilled adults. Our immersive digital content is designed for personalized guided learning, presented within an engaging framework that relies heavily on imagery and audio. It is based on instructional second language acquisition research, targeting the fundamental skills required for literacy.
Our team includes seasoned educators, authors, animators, established graphic artists, and engineers. A unique strength is our connection with two premier research universities, University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), with the close involvement of faculty with expertise spanning second language acquisition, education, engineering, and machine learning.
Madhow, a faculty member in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at the University of California (UC), Santa Barbara, has made pioneering and highly cited contributions to wireless and Internet technology. As a co-founder of GLEN World, he is involved in strategy, fundraising and content creation, drawing on his technological and entrepreneurial background.
Executive Director, Member of the Board
Sumit works as a Product Manager for Google Cloud Networking. He received his master's and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from UC Santa Barbara. He was a Katherine Harvey Fellow (KHF'2020) and serves as a member of the KHF Leadership Council. Sumit is a co-founder of GLEN World. He coordinates content design, software development, outreach and operations.
Member of the Board
Michael is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of School Psychology and Research Professor at UC Santa Barbara. He is a co-editor of Handbook of Positive Psychology in Schools, and an associate editor of Educational and Developmental Psychology. He is the director of Project Covitality, which supports schools’ efforts to foster all students’ social-emotional development. He helps with strategy and deployments.
Member of the Board
Donna has a wealth of experience in non-profit organization building, operations, governance, and a background in Early Childhood Education. She has served as the Executive Director for Storyteller Children's Center in Santa Barbara, and on the boards of organizations such as CALM, Girls Inc., Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, Hospice of SB, and Jodi House. Donna helps with strategy, partnerships and fundraising.
Member of the Board Sanjay has created multiple successful companies spanning ed-tech, electronic design automation and storage technology. He is the CEO of Vocareum, a cloud platform built to improve efficiency and learning outcomes of coding classes. Sanjay co-founded and led Denali Software until its merger with Cadence Design Systems in 2010. He was the lead investor of NVELO, a storage software startup acquired by Samsung. Sanjay helps with strategy and fundraising.
Creative Director, Member of the Board
Alexander is a writer, director and animator who has worked on a number of high-profile Hollywood films, and has an extensive portfolio that ranges from the development and production of animated content to character animation, cinematics and previsualization for feature films, ride films, video games and commercials. Alexander leads the effort on creating visual content.
Adam is an Associate Professor of Second Language Acquisition & French and Francophone Studies in the Department of Modern Languages at Carnegie Mellon University. Adam's primary research interests center around second language acquisition (SLA), pedagogy, and assessment. He is involved in content design.
School-Based Research and Evaluation
Matt is a faculty member in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at UCSB and directs the Center for School Based Youth Development. His research focuses on children’s early language and literacy development, particularly amongst Spanish-speaking dual language learners. Matt facilitates implementation and assessment in school-based settings.
Lead, Software Development
Jason works as a Senior Software Engineer for Atlassian. He holds a Bachelors in Computer Engineering from UC Santa Barbara. Jason leads software development for GLEN World apps and platform software.
Sriram works at Apple. He holds an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras and a Ph. D. degree from UC Santa Barbara. Sriram is involved in content development.
Brian is a software engineer at Plato Systems. He has a masters from Penn State University and a bachelors from UC Santa Barbara. He is involved in app software and platform development.
Content (stories / rhymes)
Susan is the author of the Showbiz Series, a group of plays for elementary aged kids to perform. She has also written several middle grade novels. Susan has authored many stories and rhymes for GLEN World.
Voice-over / narration
Michele is an actress and singer with roles in NBC’s Parenthood and ABC’s Boston Legal. Founder of kids’ music project Birdie’s Playhouse. She provides the voice for GLEN World English content.
Narration / stories (Spanish)
Norma is a writer and translator who splits her time between California and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her short stories have received awards from literary organizations in Argentina such as El rincón de la Cultura and Academia Nacional de Letras. Musicalizations of her poems have been performed in the Golden Hall of the Colón Theater in Buenos Aires.
Rhys (Ronald William TZ Maximus) Muirhead is a graphic artist who works mainly with digital design, but also enoys working in photography and more analogue mediums such as charcoal and pencil. Rhys has studied Fine Arts at the University of Newcastle, Australia, and is the founder of AndSuns Organic Apparel.
Art Direction (audio content)
Ruy is a Los Angeles based composer whose scores can be heard on a diverse array of films such as Rush Hour I, II & III, Picking Up the Pieces, The Magnificent Ambersons, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Nina, and many more. As a producer, performer and arranger, Ruy has worked with luminaries of the music scene, including David Coverdale, Mike Patton, Roberta Flack, Chaka Khan, Colin Hay, Engelbert Humperdink, Neal Schon and Japanʼs Yazawa.
Marko Rop is a freelancer artist, born in 1983 in Slovenia. He studied stage design in Vienna and Prague. Marko does most of his professional work as an illustrator, although his background and experience span other art mediums including writing and theater.