GLEN World: A look back at 2022

Dear friend of GLEN World,

Our very best wishes to you and your loved ones as we head into the holiday season. This is a time to reflect on all that we have accomplished in terms of helping children take the first steps towards literacy and school readiness. 

Regarding our work here at home in California, we had mentioned in our last newsletter that we have designed our GLEN Learn app to align with school readiness standards, with a laser focus on helping English Learners get ready for school. We take this occasion to report on the pilot that we ran during the 2021-22 school year at the Lompoc Unified School District (LUSD) since we are using our experience there to build best practices guidelines for future deployments in pre-Kindergarten (pre-K) and Transitional Kindergarten (TK) settings. This pilot would not have been possible without the steadfast support of Elaine Webber, Principal of the Lompoc Adult School and Career Center (LASCC). LASCC provided the funding for the pilot. We are also fortunate that the TK classroom in which we ran the pilot had an incredibly experienced teacher, Jennifer Ezell, who came up with an effective approach to deploying GLEN Learn in her classroom that we are recommending for future deployments. Here are a few words from Jennifer on her experience: “My experience adopting the GLEN Learn Program into my TK classroom was a positive, worthwhile experience… Our goal was to use GLEN Learn for 15-20 (mins) daily unless our schedule was disrupted.  …In general, the students were actively engaged during this designated time… I noticed that they frequently chose “The ABC” song and listening to stories as favorites. All of my students made excellent academic growth this past year. Consistently participating in this program contributed to their success.”

LUSD learner progress summary
LUSD GLEN Learn pilot learner activities summary

Detailed insight into the students’ activities, preferences, and progress, based on the analytics we have collected, is to come in a later blog post, but the anonymized summary above, while coarse, already tells an interesting story. We had mentioned in our April 2022 newsletter that the English Learners in the classroom were the most engaged towards the beginning, but by the end of the pilot, most of the children in the classroom had zeroed in on their favorite activities, a testament to the personalized learning enabled by GLEN Learn. It is difficult to tell from the summary of activities who is an English Learner, although we do note that the student who learned the most words (User 618) is an English Learner!  

Looking beyond school work, given that GLEN Learn is free and ad-free, it has always been our thesis that it is an ideal means of getting parents engaged in supporting their children in their academic journey at home. This was not our primary focus in the LUSD pilot, but it was nice to hear from Jennifer that she agrees with us: “As far as I know, only one of my students signed up to work at home on the program. I would encourage you to expand this component of GLEN Learn. It is parent-friendly and can easily be incorporated into the home environment.” 

GLEN Learn website users from Jan 2022 to Sep 2022
GLEN Learn website users from Jan 2022 to Sep 2022

In addition to our work in Santa Barbara County, we continue to see organic usage worldwide fueled by our Google Ads grant, with learners engaging in 100s of thousands of activities of various kinds (vocabulary, phonics, stories, rhymes) through our GLEN Learn and GLEN Books apps. We are thrilled to see children from countries in all corners of the world (especially in Asia, Africa, and South America) benefiting from our content. Of course, we know that systematic and consistent engagement of learners through institutional partners is the best way for our content to help children in their academic journey, and we are engaged in discussions with potential partners in India for this purpose.

What’s next?

Our first priority is to build on the learnings from the LUSD pilot to enhance the GLEN Learn app, the learner analytics dashboard for teachers and administrators, and to develop detailed guidelines for parents, teachers, and caregivers that make it even easier to deploy GLEN Learn at home, and in pre-K, TK and K settings. Our learnings are also continuing in an ongoing pre-K deployment at the Isla Vista Youth Project (IVYP) Children’s Center in Santa Barbara, California. This continues a highly productive long-term collaboration that has played a crucial role in helping shape GLEN Learn so far. We are also pursuing international collaborations to understand how GLEN Learn can be customized and scaled to meet the vast needs in developing nations.

At GLEN World, we are on a mission to address a very difficult problem: whether it is the United States or Brazil or South Africa, or India, we as a society have failed to level the playing field in early literacy. We aspire to bridge this systemic and persistent opportunity gap, and for that, we need all the help we can get. As you plan your gifts for your loved ones and causes this holiday season, would you consider making a gift to help us help every child get ready for school? Donate now.

From all of us at GLEN World and the children we serve, a huge THANK YOU to the bigger GLEN World family of donors, supporters and partners. If you are not already part of our community, please consider joining us. 

Have an amazing holiday season!

The GLEN World Team

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