Mar
27

Soldiering On & Staying Calm, In Isolation – Update on DRP – Mar 27, 2020

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The COVID-19 pandemic is wreaking hell on everyone and everything, including the timelines for our digital reading project.  We are responding as best we can.

Fortunately, Andrew and I are working from our home offices. Michael Summers has IT responsibilities with the Ministry of Health and has himself and some of his staff in their offices. Working independently does have its own set of challenges which are causing delays in our production. Here’s what we see going forward.

Plan B is to try to assist parents who have suddenly become homeschoolers by providing them teaching lessons that work like recipes. We have a couple of hundred carefully scripted lessons in the basics; reading, reading comprehension, math, spelling and writing that have proven results with all kinds of kids for 35-40 years.  We intend to offer these for free to anyone who visits our website and signs them out. This will not make us any money but it will put us in front of a huge number of future prospects.

Nesda has loaded the first batch of 6 lessons into the system. All of the features of the program are represented in these first 6 lessons, so if that goes smoothly we can move relatively quickly. Michael Summers set the date of April 30 for the prototype to be completed, despite the maelstrom of this plague.

Mark Bishop, who has a lifetime of experience in sales, advertising and marketing, is joining us  to help implement Plan B, a new shift in direction now that the schools are vacant.

Andrew is finishing editing the second block of 20 lessons. He will attempt to complete the final block of 20 lessons by the end of April. 

Past International Rotary President Wilf Wilkinson is attempting to find a Rotary conduit so that these lessons could be offered by Rotary clubs to anyone with whom their members can connect across North America and other English-speaking nations.  Rotary supports literacy and could assist greatly by making these lessons widely available to parents.

There is a plethora of companies pumping out curriculum to these parents. These curricula have never been tested or proven useful. These parents are already nervous. The last thing they need are lessons that have no history of working and may only serve to confuse and frustrate both parent and child.

Our finances are holding, if barely – another negative effect of working during a plague. We are still waiting for the $5,100 of holdback funds that should have been deposited into our account 10 days ago by Indiegogo.

These are troubling, challenging times, but we still have options, hope and energy. We are sheltering in place and following procedures so as to restrict the COVID’s spread. We are seeing others helping one another. We know that we are not alone.  We have shortened sail, battened down the hatches, checked the larder for good water and supplies and are holding our course.

The captain is calm because the ship is sturdy and the crew is competent. 

Thank you to our backers for their continued support in this difficult situation.

Regards,

Michael

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