XPRIZE, Barbara Bush Foundation and Dollar General Literacy Foundation Award Adult Literacy Partners


First-of-its-kind competition to transform the lives of 36 million adult learners in the United States comes to a close as Houston-based team takes top prize

Shlomy Kattan, Executive Director of the $7M Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE; Paul Landa, Program Manager Adult Education at Community Family Centers and Member of Adult Literacy Partners of Houston; Jackie Aguilera, Adult Literacy Partners of Houston Team Member and EastSide University President and CEO; Julie Baker Finck, President of the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation; Julie Joseph, Regional Director at Dollar General; Pete Zagone, Adult Literacy Partners of Houston Team Lead and ESL & Citizenship Program Manager at Memorial Assistance Ministries (Photo: Business Wire)

HOUSTON-- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Today, XPRIZE, the global leader in designing and operating incentive competitions to solve humanity’s grand challenges — along with the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation — celebrated Adult Literacy Partners of Houston as one of the winners in the Adult Literacy XPRIZE Communities Competition, a national competition challenging communities and organizations across the country to empower adults with low literacy skills to download and use free mobile learning tools.

The Communities Competition is the second phase of the $7M Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE presented by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, which culminated in February 2019 with the announcement of two grand prize winners. The Communities Competition incentivized organizations, communities and individuals to recruit adult learners to download and use the apps developed by four of the finalist teams in the Adult Literacy XPRIZE, which challenged teams across the globe to develop apps for existing smart devices that result in the greatest increase in literacy skills among participating adult learners.

In the latest phase, competitors across three tiers competed to have the largest number of participants download an app and subsequently use the app on at least three separate days, including the day on which they downloaded the app. To win its tier, a team must first attain the minimum threshold of participant downloads for the tier in which it is competing.

During the Communities Competition, a total of $800,000 was awarded in two parts, with $500,000 in milestone awards awarded to 24 finalist teams in April and a $300,000 prize purse that will be split between the teams that went on to recruit the most adult learners to download and use the apps.

After carefully reviewing the final data, the judges declared Adult Literacy Partners of Houston as the Tier 3 winner and recipient of $50,000.

“On behalf of the Adult Literacy Partners of Houston, we would like to thank XPRIZE, Dollar General Literacy Foundation, and the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy for the opportunity to participate in advancing literacy for adults,” said Jackie Aguilera, Adult Literacy Partners of Houston team member and EastSide University president and CEO. “This competition brought our literacy providers and supporters together in the common cause of providing life changing tools to those whose lives are changed by the services we provide. Competition gave birth to collaboration, and that collaboration has fostered a new phase of adult education for the City of Houston - providing 21st century solutions to the literacy epidemic in this country.”