About Us

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.

Our Mission

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.

Our Approach

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

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.

Upamanyu Madhow

President
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.

Sumit Singh

Executive Director, Member of the Board
Sumit works as the Director of Technology Development for Axxcss Wireless Solutions in Santa Barbara. He received his master's and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from UC Santa Barbara. Sumit is a co-founder of GLEN World. He coordinates content software development and operations.

Alexander Sokoloff

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.

Sanjay Srivastava

Member of the Board
Sanjay is the chairman of SKS Capital, an investment group based in Los Altos Hills, California, which supports early stage ventures in storage, semiconductors, and education, and he is also the chairman and CEO of Vocareum, aimed at providing online resources to engineers transitioning into the workforce from school or from other careers. Sanjay helps with GLEN World's strategy and fundraising.

Rémi Adam van Compernolle

Content Design
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.

Matt Quirk

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 in school-based settings and assesses the impact on children’s language and literacy development.

Jason Horsley

Lead, Software Development
Jason works as a Software Engineer for Udemy. He holds a Bachelors in Computer Engineering from UC Santa Barbara. Jason is the lead developer for GLEN World app and platform software.

Brian Sandler

Software Development
Brian is a graduate student at Penn State University and a developer at GLEN World. He is involved in app software and platform development.

Sriram Venkateswaran

Content Development
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.

Susan Srikant

Content design
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.

Michele Moreno

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 all original GLEN World audio.

Rhys Muirhead

Illustrations
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.

Marko Rop

Illustrations
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.

Interested in joining the team? Please check current opportunities and reach out!

Our Partners and Supporters

award-icon-free-img.png
The Srivastava Foundation (Seed funding)
Legal Partners
Incessant Rain Studios (IRAS), Inc: Custom Animations
Google for Nonprofits (software tools)

Would you consider a gift to help scale early literacy?