This concept was created by children for children. James, a smart 6 year old, who did not like learning to read, said to enjoy reading, a story needed to have four items.
- I need to be in the story
- I need to be able to choose what happens
- I need to go to real places and it needs to have real pictures of the places
- It needs to be an adventure where I find something cool
Therefore, Learn to Read Adventures is a series of apps that are ‘choose your own path’ stories that take the young explorers on adventures around the globe. After downloading the app, the young readers will enter their names and upload a photo so their name will be used in the story and their passport with have their picture on it. With the ‘choose your own path’ format, the young reader will get to choose which way to go in the story. For example, when they are in the Amazon and there has been a heavy rain, they can choose to take the flooded low road (that may have anacondas) or the high road (that is used by jaguars) to get to the cave of hidden treasure. The app can be used on iPad or iPhones and eventually all smart-devices to make it easy to choose the next step and have the story continue. The later books in the series, once the child knows how to read, fall under the title Love to Read Adventures. All the books will be featured on the LtRAdventures.com website, which is currently being developed.
While learning to read, the children also learn about geography and different cultures around the world (and thus, with knowledge, greater tolerance of other cultures and beliefs). Rather than the traditional cartoon version of the stories, these stories will use real pictures of landscapes in the location of the story. Just like other popular apps, the children will get badges and awards as they successful read each story and move on to the next level.
In addition, the stories will tie into the physical world as well. After the reader completes 10 stories, a real medal will be shipped to them free or charge (parents pay shipping and handling only). In addition to the medal, there is an online store, where parents can purchase the physical copies of printed books. The books will be print-on-demand books, so will still have the child’s name and image for the passport (and the printed books will work like traditional ‘choose your own path’ books). The store will also feature gear to enhance learning (flashcards, etc.). James also wanted this project to support those in need. Therefore, the store will also feature products made by the locals in the regions of the stories to support the artisans in these developing nations. For example, the hammocks made by locals in the Amazon Rain Forest in Brazil for the Amazon story and the hand-made beaded necklaces by the tribes in Uganda for the story set there. The website will have a ‘suggest a story location’ section where people can submit other places like this. This provides another outlet of sales and cross-promotion for those looking to raise funds for their cause / village.