SOURCE: vCarrot

vCarrot

August 05, 2015 09:00 ET

Just in Time for Summer Reading; New vCarrot Smartphone Application Incentivizes Students to Read

HENDERSON, NV--(Marketwired - Aug 5, 2015) - Summer has arrived and parents across the United States have come to realize that their kids' summer reading assignments aren't going to complete themselves. While many students proactively dive into "War and Peace" or "Catch-22," many more learn the hard way that procrastination bears no reward. Incentives, according to many parents, are the best way to jump start a child's summer reading.

Enter vCarrot -- an educational technology platform that incentivizes and rewards students for reading. vCarrot is a new smartphone application where parents (or other adults) assign a book to a student and chart their progress via electronic reminders and reading comprehension quizzes. Once a student has passed the quiz (and thereby proving that they have read the book), they are rewarded with an electronic gift card to their favorite retail outlet.

"vCarrot allows adults to encourage and reward reading with trackable gift cards," said Christopher Flynn, CTO, inventor and co-founder of vCarrot. "We provide parents with a first-to-last-page method of incentivizing and following their kid's reading progress."

The vCarrot platform is simple: Parents assign a book to a child via the app or vCarrot web site, select the deadline, the gift card and its amount. The child accepts the assignment on their phone and is periodically reminded to read via pop-up window. When the child completes the book, they take a short but intensive reading comprehension quiz to prove that they completed the assignment. Once the child scores 75% or higher, they are rewarded with an electronic gift card.

vCarrot offers more than 50 gift cards in varying denominations. Merchants include Hot Topic, Papa John's, Express, GameStop, Dominos and much more. Fees for gift cards are nominal and parents may opt to use the vCarrot platform without awarding one.

According to Malcolm Gladwell's book, Outliers, students who don't read four or more age-appropriate books over the summer are more likely to fall victim to the "Summer Slide," the common loss of skills due to being out of school over the summer. vCarrot enables parents and kids to avoid the summer slide through incentives and simple reading comprehension quizzes that ensure that the book was successfully completed.

An allowance has traditionally been given to kids for the completion of household and school tasks. vCarrot built upon this idea and enables parents to repurpose allowances to incentivize and inspire a love of reading among kids. As an added benefit, parents can have greater control over their child's spending.

"The benefits of reading are immeasurable, but not the process," added Flynn. "We built vCarrot to spark a lifelong habit of reading by using the same model parents have always used to motivate and reward their kids. We have updated the process for the 21st century, along with the ability to control where the reward is spent."

According to Common Sense Media, 32 percent of fourth graders score below basic levels in national reading tests.

"Our platform is a modern and efficient way to incentivize kids to open a book (or power-up an e-reader)," added Flynn. "Our goal is to help reverse the trend and encourage students' love of reading."

About vCarrot
vCarrot is an educational technology platform that's designed to incentivize and reward positive behavior and accomplishment among students in grades five through twelve. Parents and other adults can encourage students to read and reward accomplishment with digital gift cards to scores of popular retail outlets. Visit www.vCarrot.com

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