Boston nonprofit develops app to bring literacy education to children in Central America

Project Alianza, a Boston-based nonprofit that has already established 16 schools and provided educational opportunities for over 27,000 students in Central America, has now developed an educational app to promote literacy in the region. The app, named Leotenango, operates offline making it accessible to children in areas with limited internet connectivity. The app groups students based on educational level and reading ability, rather than age or grade level, a methodology known as 'Teaching at the right level' (TARL), which was developed by the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) and has proven successful in improving reading skills. In addition to determining reading levels and offering lessons, Leotenango provides interactive learning features and gamified content, utilising characters such as Quincy, a quetzal bird (Guatemala's national bird), to guide students through activities. As children progress, they earn badges marking their accomplishments. The app was met with overwhelmingly positive feedback in its alpha phase, and a beta version is set to be tested by around 100 people. The organisation believes that the app will significantly enhance its ability to improve literacy rates in Central America, extending its reach beyond the schools it has built.

Boston Globe