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Pocket Tales announced today that it has won first place honors in the Global Education Challenge sponsored by publishing powerhouse Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. The Challenge was launched earlier this year to identify game-changing ideas for improving K-12 student outcomes around the world. Ideas were submitted from 23 countries and 37 states throughout the U.S.

“The goal of the Global Education Challenge was to rally innovative thinkers worldwide to share creative ideas for tools that address the issues inhibiting student achievement, and identify solutions that foster positive student outcomes,” said Michael Muldowney, Chief Financial Officer of HMH. “These winning ideas illustrate the power that communities can have in generating tangible education solutions.”

A Web-based application, Pocket Tales is a social reading game that helps inspire a lifelong love for reading by adding a “Motivational Game Layer” on top of the books kids read. The company uses a number of methods to increase reading enjoyment and self-efficacy including game mechanics, social interaction, goal setting and feedback loops.

“We’re honored to be the recipient of this award and we’re encouraged by companies like Houghton Mifflin Harcourt who believe in taking radically different and innovative approaches to  helping our students succeed” said Yaw Aning, cofounder of Pocket Tales. “Reading is a fundamental skill that serves as the foundation for learning. With Pocket Tales, our goal is to create an environment that celebrates children’s reading accomplishments in an interactive and engaging way,” added Amma Odum, co-founder and Pocket Tales’ Creative Director.