Supporting active citizenship
The Pearson Foundation


Founded in 2004, our Foundation has gone from strength to strength in seeking out partners, creating new initiatives and touching the lives of thousands of young people, families and educators the world over. It allows us to promote literacy, learning and great teaching internationally, bringing together other leading businesses, not-for-profit organisations and experts to share good practice, to foster innovation and try to find workable solutions to the educational disadvantage facing millions of young people and adults across the globe. For example, our US and UK literacy campaigns, Jumpstart's Read for the Record and Booktime, continued to expand in 2008, reaching thousands of people across both nations. We have helped Jumpstart grow by more than 20% annually since our partnership began, and in 2008 Pearson people took part in setting a new world record for the largest 'shared reading experience' ever during the Read for the Record campaign. Close to 500,000 participants registered to read the official campaign book, the children’s classic Corduroy, published by Penguin Young Readers Group. The Booktime programme gave 750,000 children free copies of two books, Ian Whybrow’s Harry and the Dinosaurs go to School, published by Puffin, and a special abridged edition of The Puffin Book of Fantastic First Poems, edited by June Crebbin. Book packs also contained a guidance booklet for parents and carers with tips on shared reading, available in 15 community languages.

Activity summary

We launched the inaugural Pearson International Education Summit, developed in conjunction with the US Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and held in Singapore. This first summit convened delegates from 13 countries and six continents to explore first hand the educational and cultural drivers that consistently help Singapore students to score at the top of international surveys such as the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).

We introduced the Pearson Professional Development Program for African educators in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia, providing intensive training and support, focusing specifically on early childhood development, literacy and numeracy, and on teacher and student acquisition of key 21st century skills.

We continued our sponsorship of the Citi-FT Financial Education Summit, an annual conference organized by the Pearson Foundation, the Financial Times and the Citi Foundation. The 2008 Summit was held in Beijing, China.


Voices in 21st Century Education This new video advocacy campaign launched with partners including the Council of Chief State School Officers, the National Alliance of Black School Educators, and the Consortium for Social Networking, showcasing the efforts and ambitions of leading educators and organizations as they shape the next generation of learning in American schools and universities.

Mobile Learning Institute Earth Day Challenge The Pearson Foundation and Nokia joined forces with the Jane Goodall Institute to launch a global, environmental film-making competition in April 2008, giving young people the chance to share their views on the earth’s future and the importance of combating climate change. Year-round, the Mobile Learning Institute again helped young people and educators bring digital and mobile technologies to classroom learning.

Earth day 2008
NSPME 2008

National Student/Parent Mock Election We sponsored and supported the NSPME 2008 national vote reducation programme for students and their parents giving young Americans the chance to make their voices heard in the electoral process. In the weeks leading up to the 2008 presidential election, we joined together with a consortium of leading partners – including Pearson, Google, USA TODAY, Declare Yourself, Strong American Schools, School Perceptions, and the National Association of Broadcasters – to extend the programme, resulting in more than five million ballots cast in classrooms across the United States.


Go to the Pearson Foundation site


We believe that part of our duty is to use our considerable platform to promote education. As with everything we do, we try to interpret that responsibility in the broadest sense of the word – by our definition, it's just as important to celebrate the best teachers as it is to encourage all children to read, and equally crucial to give as many young people as we can the opportunity to take an active role in trying to answer the global challenges of climate change. By helping to facilitate and host digital, online and face to- face interactions with students, teachers and other stakeholders, we hope to help others play their part in contributing to the discussions surrounding the key issues of our times. We zone in on a few examples below:

Why I Teach: As part of our Voices in 21st Century Education campaign, the Pearson Foundation helped Teachers of the Year from across the United States visit New York City, and – with a little help from the Digital Arts Alliance – script, compose, and create their own personal video to explain their motivations for teaching.

Spinebreakers: In September 2007, Penguin launched the UK's first online book community for teenagers, giving them the opportunity to discuss, debate and interact with Penguin's rich source of publishing from contemporary titles. Editorial control of the site is in the hands of a core editorial team of nine teenagers aged between 13 and 18 years, supported by a large network of contributing teen editors from across the UK.

The Pennies for Peace Toolkit: The Pearson Foundation, together with Pennies for Peace and the National Education Association Foundation, announced a new K-12 service learning toolkit designed to help educators in the US create effective penny-raising campaigns as part of their school's curriculum.

Teaching Leaders: This new London-based initiative aims to deliver measurable improvements in pupil achievement by developing a network of excellent, well-supported middle leaders – heads of subjects, year group and other whole-school roles. We recently established the Pearson Excellence Awards for Teaching Leaders, pledging to donate £11,000 worth of prizes to reward participants for effective, well-executed initiatives implemented at their schools at the end of the first year in the programme.

PeaceJam Global Call to Action: On 11 September 2008, alongside PeaceJam, the Penguin Young Readers Group and the Digital Alliance, the Pearson Foundation introduced the Global Call to Action Challenge, which encourages young people to document in digital film and in writing the projects they've created and implemented to bring about peace in their local communities. An extension of the newly published Penguin Young Readers book PeaceJam: A Billion Simple Acts of Peace, the Global Call to action encourages young people to commit themselves to 1 billion projects to serve their communities in the next ten years.


Ladybird will launch global reading campaign Ladybird Read for Life in 2009. The new look will become a one-stop portal to support reading around the world, giving parents and teachers access to a wealth of new free downloadable resources, educational interactive games and podcasts.

A few words from... Mark Nieker

"For Pearson people everywhere, the Pearson Foundation is a reminder of how much we can achieve when we put our heads together. It's another, even more personal way that together, we at Pearson help people improve their daily lives.

We never take for granted the importance of what we’re trying to do, and we’re always looking forward to the great things we can accomplish together."

Mark Neiker

Mark Nieker, President, The Pearson Foundation