Mark Cuban Renews Pledge to Encourage Reading
Billionaire investor and Shark Tank personality Mark Cuban has announced his sponsorship of the Second Annual Beanstack Winter Reading Challenge in support of public libraries and school systems throughout the United States. This year, Mr. Cuban challenges over 250 schools and libraries, more than double that of the inaugural Winter Reading Challenge, to meet a collective goal of reading at least five million minutes and 75,000 books during the month of January. If achieved, Cuban pledges to donate $35,000 to the top-performing libraries and schools.
Participating libraries will use Beanstack, a web and mobile application, to track self-directed reading time and help build a culture of reading in school and at home. The software makes it easier for students and families to track reading and stay motivated while providing insights and data about reading habits to school and library administrators.
“Now, more than ever, we are distracted by screens and don’t take the time to simply read. But research shows the power of reading for as little as 6-minutes a day and I personally make time to read every morning,” says Cuban. “This Winter Reading Challenge gives us the opportunity to inspire people around the world to read more. What better resolution to have than to start the New Year with a good book!”
Using Cutting Edge Software To Track Reading
The Beanstack software platform and mobile application, from parent company Zoobean, makes it easier for librarians, educators, and readers to customize, participate in, and gain insights from reading challenges. It can also suggest book titles readers might enjoy based on their interests and reading “doorways.” Cuban became an investor in Zoobean after the founders impressed him with their vision on Shark Tank in 2013. Less than five years after the show aired, Beanstack now serves over 1000 library and school systems globally.
“We believe deeply that reading is to the brain as exercise is to the body. It has the unique power to transform lives and communities,” says Zoobean co-founder and Chief Client Success Officer, Jordan Lloyd Bookey. “The Winter Reading Challenge helps our partners activate their communities to read more in 2019 and into the future.” School and public librarians will set up their Winter Reading Challenge programs on Beanstack’s platform, each with its own unique design. Participants will log their time spent reading and books read throughout the month of January on their library’s individual Beanstack site.
Prize Money Goes To Support Schools And Libraries
This year, all prize money will be divided directly among the top performing schools and libraries. Prizes are awarded based on four elements: outreach, active participation, logging numbers, and community (social) sharing. “Libraries are the heartbeat of their schools and communities, and we are thrilled to directly support their work with this challenge,” says Lloyd Bookey.
Cuban will announce the results of the second annual Winter Reading Challenge this February.
Beanstack helps educators and librarians create, manage, and measure reading challenges. Using a website customized to each school or library and an easy-to-use mobile app, Beanstack makes it easier to track reading, keep readers motivated, and gain actionable insights.