Solution Pitch

The Problem

There is a reading crisis in the United States: today, 65 percent of all fourth-graders scored below proficiency in reading. Most reading disabilities are identified after children have already fallen behind their peers, when the window for the most effective intervention has closed. Self-perception of reading failure and negative responses from others leave these children vulnerable to feelings of shame, depression, and low self-esteem. 

The Solution

To provide earlier intervention, Boston Children’s Hospital developed a comprehensive early literacy screening system. The two-part system includes a child self-administered, gamified mobile app to screen kids and a web-based platform to support teachers and families. 

In this system, kids spend 20 minutes playing an engaging game on the app, which screens them for critical early indicators of reading difficulties. The platform then syncs and analyzes the screening data, and creates a report outlining the child’s risk factors. The platform enables monitoring at the classroom, school-wide, and district-wide levels, so educators can review the performance of all students. It also provides follow-up resources such as evidence-based curricula, specialist referrals, and professional development to address specific skill deficits.

Market Opportunity

By 2025, it’s estimated that the total addressable global market size for dyslexia treatment will reach nearly $27 million. Between 5 and 12 percent of children in the United States have dyslexia, but only 4.5 percent of students in public schools are actually diagnosed. Lack of reading proficiency is a key reason why an estimated 8,000 students drop out of school in the US each day, costing US taxpayers $260,000 over a lifetime in lower wages, paying less in taxes, unemployment benefits, and incarceration. 

Partnership Goals

EarlyBird currently seeks:

  • Platform development support, including creating videos that teach educators to address early literacy challenges in individualized sessions or group interventions; and
  • Research support to complete longitudinal studies that examine predictive precursors to reading difficulties in Brazilian-Portuguese as well as Spanish-speaking children who will enter an English-speaking school system.

Organization Highlights

EarlyBird has been featured in the Boston Globe, Harvard Gazette, Fox25, WBUR, and Education Week.

Existing Partnerships

EarlyBird currently partners with:

  • Innovation and Digital Health Accelerator at Boston Children's Hospital; and
  • Over 40 schools to scientifically validate the screener in 2018-2019.

Stats

As of 2019, EarlyBird has impacted 500 lives through its beta testing.

Solver Team

Organization Type:
For Profit

Headquarters:
Boston, MA, USA

Stage:
Pilot

Working in:
USA

Solution Team:

Learning

Catching Early Signs of Reading Disabilities

Solver EarlyBird received the $25,000 Innospark Ventures Prize from Member Innospark Ventures in 2019 to further develop a screening system that catches the earliest signs of reading disabilities.

Learning

Catching Early Signs of Reading Disabilities

Solver EarlyBird received the $20,000 Dubai Cares Early Childhood Development Prize from Member Dubai Cares in 2019 to further develop a screening system that catches the earliest signs of reading disabilities.

Learning

Catching Early Signs of Reading Disabilities

Solver EarlyBird, a screening system that catches the earliest signs of reading disabilities, received a $10,000 grant from Solve in 2019 for being selected as an Early Childhood Development Solver.

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