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New kid-powered tool will help grow readers

mascot Winston from Wandoo Planet
mascot Winston from Wandoo Planet

Parents want to encourage their children to improve their reading skills but sometimes it just comes down to finding the right motivation and areas of interest for each child. Unfortunately, reading proficiency in the U.S. is a problem. "By middle school, two-thirds of eight-graders do not read at grade level", according to "A First Look: 2013 Mathematics and Reading, National Assessment of Education Progress at Grades 4 and 8".

Now there will be a new tool for educators, parents and librarians that will help match a child's interests with an evolving reading list. Each child can grow by exploring the things they are curious about. Similar to "Netflix", the platform uses the preferences from each child to create branches of a reading tree. The sapling blossoms and develops along with the child's input. And the more that the child uses the software, the better the reading recommendations will be.

The company developing this software is "Evanced Solutions". They are in open beta release for a platform called "Wandoo Planet" and they will be ready to launch with a free app sometime later this spring.

I had an opportunity to talk with Lindsey Hill, (Lead for Reading Engagement Innovations) with Evanced Solutions, who has been busy touring libraries and reading festivals to introduce "Wandoo Planet". The focus is on children ages 6 to 14 and are they are looking for beta testers to help collect feedback. Lindsey says, "the experts are the kids" since this software needs to be kid-friendly, interactive and motivational and it will help "bridge the classroom to the living room". As any parent knows, it takes more than the school setting to promote education and reading. In addition, Lindsey mentioned that there will be a portal for teachers, librarians and parents.

For more information, see the link above, and view the video demo. They are looking for a large number of kids to beta test and you can sign up to be an investigator or champion. Plus get on the email list to be notified when the app is ready for release.

They are also on Facebook and Twitter, @wandooplanet. is the direct beta sign up link with the following:

What a great idea to help future readers so find out more about how to start sprouting your child’s reading.

Do you "wanna do" something special for your children?

Of course, help them become good readers.

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