Learning Life’s Progress, 2015 Plans, and How You Can Help
Dear friends of Learning Life,
I founded Learning Life in 2012 to nurture a wider culture of learning by spreading knowledge on everyday life surfaces, like napkins, cup sleeves, even fortune cookies. In so doing, Learning Life seeks to inform and engage more people by making information that matters to people’s lives – about health, education, work, government services, local nonprofits, etc. – more widely available in everyday life.
Since I founded Learning Life with the help of advisors, volunteers, interns and donors like you, together we have:
1) Conducted Three Innovative Pilot Projects
We conducted three innovative projects with Washington D.C.’s Newseum and the City of Alexandria, Virginia using napkins, drink coasters, tote bags, wallet cards and fortune cookies to engage people in learning about local to national history. (You can learn more about these projects here.)
Importantly, these projects recently led to the launch of Learning Life’s partner, Signia Surfaces, to help advance our work using ad-funded surfaces to inform and engage people in their communities, starting in Washington D.C. Stay tuned for more news about Signia Surfaces as it grows!
2) Extended Our Reach Online
On Learning Life’s website, we have grown from less than 2,000 visitors per month on January 1, to more than 4,500 now – a 250%+ increase.
On Facebook, we have increased our connections more than 600% from less than 1,000 individual “likes” on January 1, 2014 to more than 6,000 now.
3) Expanded Our Free Educational Content
Since January 1, 2014, we have raised the number of free quizzes we offer on Learning Life’s website from 39 to 55, with a new quiz posted every month on varied topics from climate change, to American women’s history, to profiles of countries like China, Syria and Mexico.
We have added a new question – “is there intelligent life beyond Earth?” – to our Big Questions Series, with succinct and provocative answers from three leading astronomers.
In 2014, we also initiated two new free educational programs:
- A “five facts” series on current topics – like Ebola, ISIL (Islamic State in Syria and the Levant), genetic engineering and U.S. immigration.
- A free email “Metro D.C. Weekly Learn” that offers interesting facts on the politics, economics, demographics, people and organizations that shape the Washington D.C. metro area.
Our Plans for 2015
In 2015, Learning Life will continue to produce and disseminate quizzes, facts, big questions and other educational content on topics of public importance, from terrorism to food psychology to world geography, absolutely free of charge. We will also continue to expand our audience, and engage in pilot projects when we can to test and improve our innovative approach to incidental learning (you can learn more about our approach here).
In turn, our partner, Signia Surfaces, will work to spread learning on everyday surfaces in metro Washington D.C., starting with ad-funded napkins promoting local nonprofits free in order to inform and engage more residents in their community.
Here are four simple ways you can help right now:
1) Like Signia Surfaces’ Facebook page. The page was just launched in mid-November this year, so we’re working to increase the number of people who “like” our page. Please also invite some of your Facebook friends to like us as well. If you’re on Linkedin too, please follow Signia Surfaces on Linkedin.
2) Donate to Learning Life. Signia Surfaces is designed to bring in its own revenue through advertising, but Learning Life relies largely on individual donors. Your donation helps Learning Life produce and spread our free educational content, and pursue creative projects to deepen our impact. If you can donate, please consider becoming a sustainer: sustainers help us develop a more regular base of funding by giving a tax-deductible amount (e.g., $5, $10, $25, $50, $100) monthly that’s automatically deducted from your credit card or checking account.
3) Subscribe to our Metro D.C. Weekly Learn. If you live in the Washington D.C. metro area, subscribe to Learning Life’s Weekly Learn. It’s a free, local learning opportunity worth spreading, so please also share it with your family, friends and colleagues in the area.
4) Shop through iGive.com, and help fund Learning Life free. Shop more than 1,400 stores through iGive, and if you make Learning Life your charity, a percentage of your purchase will be donated to Learning Life at no cost to you.
Thank you very much for your support! I will keep you informed about our progress in 2015 via Learning Life’s monthly e-newsletter and Facebook page.
Paul Lachelier, Ph.D.
Founder, Learning Life