Our newest collaboration with EarlyBird Education

June 1, 2023

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Imagine assessments that can accurately, reliably, and equitably capture information on both monolingual and multilingual children’s early literacy skills — at scale and while minimizing teacher workload.

Last week, our newest collaboration with early literacy partner EarlyBird Education was announced as part of the Measures for Early Success Initiative, led by MDRC with funding support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

The Measures Initiative seeks to develop equitable, scaleable, and psychometrically-sound assessment tools for pre-K educators, children, and families.

Our collaboration with EarlyBird — alongside the Collier Connection and research partners Dr. Elsa Cárdenas-Hagan and Dr. Eric Tridas — aims to create a game-changing, gold standard, bilingual early literacy assessment to reach all students early, effectively, and equitably.

Powering bilingual assessment

Since 2020, SoapBox and EarlyBird have partnered on a groundbreaking voice-enabled and game-based assessment product that predicts preK-1 students’ risk for dyslexia and other reading challenges. Associate Professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education Dr. Nadine Gaab spearheaded the development of EarlyBird’s platform at the Innovation and Digital Health Accelerator (IDHA) at Boston Children’s Hospital.

SoapBox’s voice AI technology allows EarlyBird to quickly and accurately assess students’ oral language skills across a variety of subtests, including blending, deletion, nonword repetition, and rapid automatized naming. 

As EarlyBird’s CEO Carla Small said in a LinkedIn post announcing our new collaboration:

Being selected for this MDRC/Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Initiative allows us to take a research-based approach to bilingual (Spanish) early literacy assessment. Exciting! And true to our roots.

This new collaboration and resulting literacy tool builds on EarlyBird’s existing platform and aims to reimagine bilingual assessment by:

  • Capturing strengths of multilingual learners across skills areas in English and Spanish. 
  • Minimizing cultural and linguistic bias through SoapBox’s equity-by-design voice technology.
  • Meeting kids where they are with a fun and engaging assessment experience. 
  • Providing teachers with actionable, targeted data they can use to identify struggling students earlier and offering proactive and targeted instruction.
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A child interacting with EarlyBird’s gamified assessment

SoapBox is excited to be chosen as the voice AI to power this important new assessment tool, and we’ll share more about the project in the coming months. 

How we already work with EarlyBird

Curious to learn more about our partnership with EarlyBird and how we power the dyslexia screener and comprehensive early literacy assessment, used by thousands of preK-1 students and teachers across the US? Read our case study or watch our webinar with SoapBox experts and EarlyBird’s CEO Carla Small below.

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