Jamaica opens GraphoGame literacy game freely available for residents

Kingston, Jamaica, April 3, 2024 — GraphoGame, an award-winning educational game, is excited to announce its availability to all residents of Jamaica. This significant milestone is made possible through the generosity of the non-governmental organisation Winsome Wished for KIDS, led by Simone Fisher Sobers, who has graciously donated GraphoGame to benefit the community. Jamaica has joined a growing number of Caribbean and Latin American countries utilising GraphoGame in their mission to enhance literacy.

Simone Fisher Sobers, the founder and President of Winsome Wishes for KIDS, Inc. (WWKIDS), is dedicated to obtaining and granting academic resources, teacher professional development, and financial assistance to needy schools. Her commitment to her community in Jamaica aligns perfectly with GraphoGame’s mission to improve literacy and educational outcomes.

“It saddens me to acknowledge that illiteracy affects individuals of all ages in Jamaica daily,” says Sobers. She is particularly concerned about the growing number of children graduating without literacy skills.

“Children are not reading as much due to constant distractions,” she explains, pointing to the influence of mobile phones, which she calls “pacifiers” for schoolchildren. Nevertheless, she remains optimistic, noting that digitally delivered tools and content, already familiar from a young age, offer a promising avenue for improvement.

“GraphoGame offers a unique opportunity to address this challenge, not only for children but also for adults who have not had the chance to learn to read. The app’s privacy features make it ideal for adult learners seeking to improve their literacy skills discreetly.”

Neighbouring countries such as Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago were impressed by GraphoGame’s impact in Jamaica. Sobers is confident in its potential to improve Jamaica’s illiteracy situation significantly.

Illiteracy impacts the whole of society

Jamaica has been grappling with an increasing literacy problem, not only among children but also among adults. Its working population is in an alarming state of illiteracy, which impacts the nation’s productivity and shapes an economy trapped in primary production, whether goods or services.

In a recent article published in The Jamaica Gleaner, Professor Robotham suggests tackling this national emergency with a significant government focus on literacy, supported by a dedicated portfolio minister and an army of reading specialists.

“We must meet our children where they are and teach English as the foreign language it is,” he said. A recent report by the Orlando Patterson Commission on transforming the education sector stated that a third of Jamaican students complete their primary education illiterate and that nearly six in 10 need help extracting essential information from simple English sentences.

Dr Rowbotham emphasises that Jamaica will only move out of this state of increased production if the widespread adult illiteracy in society is addressed. “Low literacy affects everything, including crime and violence.”

GraphoGame supporting UNESCO’s literacy mission in the Caribbean region

GraphoGame’s Founder and CEO, Mervi Palander, expresses gratitude for collaborating with Simone Fisher Sobers and her organisation, Winsome Wished for KIDS. “Working with Simone has been inspiring. Her commitment to addressing illiteracy aligns perfectly with our mission to make quality literacy education accessible to all.”

GraphoGame has received international recognition for its evidence-based approach to literacy education. Recently, it was recognised with an international ICEIE Certificate for its efficacy. Before that, it received the UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize 2023 and was included in the HolonIQ Nordic Baltic Edtech 50 companies.

Scientific trials have shown efficacy in achieving literacy outcomes comparable to one-on-one teacher support. GraphoGame was developed in Finland at the University of Jyväskylä, and the Niilo Mäki Institute, and it has expanded to numerous languages through collaborations with leading research institutions worldwide.

With over 5 million downloads globally and a growing user base, GraphoGame has established itself as a leader in educational technology. Partnerships with governments and NGOs ensure that children can access the game for free, promoting inclusivity and equitable access to quality education.

About Winsome Wished for KIDS
Winsome Wished for KIDS is dedicated to helping children become their best selves. We strive to help children with learning challenges or disabilities become their best selves. We want to ensure that all schools have the academic resources, trained teachers, and funding necessary to reach educationally marginalised children. We are partners with, e.g. The Windward School and Institute, NY; Higher Potential for Learning, NV; ISSA Trust Foundation, FL; Haskins Literacy Hub, Connecticut; Kozy Korner Books, Jamaica; PAF Reading Program, NY; Atlanta Speech School, GA. www.wwkids.org

Screenshots of GraphoGame