1. Why is the competition focused on adult literacy?

There are approximately 36 million adults in the U.S. who lack basic literacy skills. Adult literacy is crucial for healthy families, communities, the economy, and engaged citizens, as well as to the very future of our society—our children. The American Dream is less available to those without basic literacy skills, keeping them and their families from actualizing their potential and dreams.


2. What is the timeframe for the competition?

The Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE is a 42-month competition, comprising a six-month team registration period (ending December 2015), a 12-months solution development phase, and a 12-month field-testing period with two three-month judging phases preceding and following the Field Test, followed by six months of regional deployment as part of the Cities Competition.


3. How can I compete?

The first step is to complete a user profile. In addition, teams will need to complete the registration process and submit a registration fee of $500 by the close of registration, December 10, 2015.


4. Is there help developing teams?

Join the XPRIZE Forums and Wiki resources for collaboration and to locate team members with a specific skill to offer.


5. Will the winning technologies be used?

Yes, once the Grand Prize and bonus prizes are awarded, the winning technologies will be deployed in cities across the country.  The cities will compete to enroll the greatest percentage of their low literate residents to download and use the revolutionary mobile applications developed during the team competition.


6. Will people be expected to pay for the technology after the prize is won?

The technologies developed during the Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE belong to the teams that develop them. The goal of the prize is for those teams to offer their technologies on the open market, ultimately building a robust educational technology marketplace for adults.


7. Who is the targeted test population?

During the field testing phase of the competition, solutions will be provided to low-literate adult learners (both native English speakers and non-native English language speakers, aged 18-64) who live within three geographic areas in the U.S. and read at or below the equivalent of a third grade reading level.


8. Testing specifics?

Participating adult learners’ literacy levels will be assessed using standardized reading assessments (before the 12-month Field Test and after) to determine their baseline literacy levels and their improvement as a result of their participation in the competition.


9. How will the software solutions be tested?

The judging panel will assess the software solutions at the end of the 12-month solution development stage and select 15 solutions to move on to field-testing. Low-literate adult learners will be randomly assigned one of the solutions to use for the 12 month field-testing phase. After six months of field testing the Judges will select five Finalists to continue for another six months. Improvement in participating adults’ literacy levels over the 12-month Field Test will be measured using a standardized reading assessment. The team with the greatest difference between pre- and post-test means across both demographics will win the Grand Prize.


10. Are the devices provided?

No. The Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE is designed to utilize mobile smart devices that people already own.


11. Why is this competition so important?

This competition will revolutionize adult literacy learning in the U.S. – a vitally important goal if our society is to reach its full potential. The solutions will help overcome barriers to literacy learning by providing a new generation of adult learning tools that are highly engaging, relevant, scalable, supportive, and accessible to them.


12. How can I get involved?

Compete. Share. Advocate. We anticipate garnering teams and supporters from around the world, and will help you meet other individuals and teams who can help you support the competition.


13. Aren’t there existing programs that address this issue?

Only 2 million of the 36 million adults in need are served by existing adult literacy programs in the U.S. These programs are generally place-based programs that provide direct, in-person services in a classroom, in small groups, or in one-on-one settings. These programs are relatively small in size and scope, are generally underfunded, are not accessible to all, and are unable to scale to meet the high level of need. The Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE will change all of this, putting revolutionary adult literacy tools directly in the hands of those who need them.


14. How does this competition align with the existing Global Learning XPRIZE competition?

The two competitions are separate competitions. The Adult Literacy XPRIZE is the second in the Learning Prize Group portfolio that envisions a future with unprecedented, individually-tailored opportunities for lifelong learning, literacy, autonomy, and career readiness, as well as widespread tools for uplifting entire populations from the vicious cycle of poverty. We aim to empower a universally-educated population, with equal access to information and knowledge, regardless of age, gender, race, nationality, or socio-economic status.

Become a Part of the Future! Sign Up for Our Newsletter: