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Color it out! is a dynamic card game that bridges the gap between spoken and written English, improving reading and pronunciation for all ages.
Color it out! is a dynamic card game that bridges the gap between spoken and written English, improving reading and pronunciation for all ages.
311 backers pledged $37,955 to help bring this project to life.

About

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    • العربية
    • English

Color Vowel Duo: Transform English Learning Through Play

$37,955

311

Put simply, Color Vowel Duo solves the Problem of O:

We want to transform the way English reading and pronunciation are taught—in classrooms and at home—around the world.

Color Vowel® DUO is a revolutionary game that teaches the sounds of English language through play. It bridges the gap between the classroom and learning at home, and has proved to be wildly effective in building confidence for emerging readers, ESL students, international students, and anyone who loves to play with language.

We piloted the game with hand-picked school districts across the country. At Karen's children's Montessori school, the prototype was so popular that it was in tatters within a month. The teacher begged for a more durable deck. That's exactly why we are raising funds: to print DUO on durable, industry-standard cards, give it proper packaging, and to bring it to market.

What Your Contributions Do

We currently print Duo in small batches of 500 decks because it is what we can afford. The problem is, these small batches cost a lot to make. According to wholesale-resale formulae, we should be selling Duo for $40, which of course is an unmarketable price, so we sell it for half that and barely cover our costs. Meanwhile, given the popularity of Duo, we are caught in a perpetual print-and-send cycle, leaving us exhausted and underfunded to produce more Duo.

The solution is to print a big, professional run of 5,000 decks of Duo, and this is where you come in: With your help, we will be able to make DUO available to more people with more durable cards at a lower price. The money we receive through this Kickstarter campaign will go toward final design, printing, packaging, and legal fees (as we have applied for a patent related to the game). 

How Did We Get Here?

ELTS is a tight-knit team of educational linguists with decades of experience in language learning and literacy. Karen Taylor, co-founder of English Language Training Solutions (ELTS) is a former Fulbright specialist with a focus on second-language pronunciation. Karen created the Color Vowel® Chart in 1999 along with co-author Shirley Thompson (a Fulbrighter and returned Peace Corps volunteer) to help international graduate students deliver their lectures comprehensibly. 

The Color Vowel® Chart is a visual organizer for spoken English that replaces phonetic symbols with colors. Early adoption by the U.S. Department of State has propelled our work to international acclaim.

In 2014, ESL teacher Laura McIndoo designed a game using the Color Vowel Chart as its underlying architecture: Color Vowel® DUO. She piloted it with her own adult ESL students and was astounded by the response: Students insisted on buying their own sets to take home and play with their families.

With feedback from our pilot schools and an overwhelming demand for the game, we realized we've created something unprecedented: a fun, compelling language game that bridges schools and home learning for native and non-native speakers of English. 

Other Ways You Can Help

If you're reading this, chances are that you're an educator of some kind-- someone in the trenches of language/reading instruction. You are probably not a millionaire (though if you are, please don't stop reading!).

Notice that we have created some high-end giving options; these are designed for the donors and philanthropists who support YOUR school system, public library, adult education program, community organization, or children's museum. If you know these special angels in your community, tell them about DUO. Otherwise, share our campaign with your organization's fundraising office, and share widely through social media, email, and by talking to your friends about it.

 Parent feedback about Duo is equally enthusiastic. Via Bella, a mommy-blogger in Washington DC, had this to say after playing Duo with her kids for the first time:

Via Bella has this to say about Duo!
Via Bella has this to say about Duo!

Risks and challenges

We have already designed, piloted, and refined the game itself, so to complete this project, we just need to manufacture the cards and the tuckbox (packaging). We're working with a respected printer here in Santa Fe NM and will be monitoring production in person. While things can come up that delay a project, we will make every effort to ensure that the people who trusted us with their money will get what we promise on time. We update this project regularly and we will let backers know of any setbacks as they happen. We are committed to our supporters, our mission, and our product. Thank you for your support!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    #ColorVowelRedDress YES!

    Your support means the world to us. We know that some supporters prefer just to give and not receive. If this is you, then this is the option for you. But if you're curious, scroll through our other creative giving options and see if one of them calls out to you. Either way, thank you!
    We'll gratefully acknowledge your contribution on our Happy Wall of Gratitude.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    #ColorVowelBlueMoon GET DUO!

    Receive one gorgeous deck of Color Vowel Duo: 110 full-color professional-grade playing cards, manufactured in the USA and packaged in a pretty tuck box. We'll acknowledge your contribution on our Happy Wall of Gratitude.

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    87 backers
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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    #ColorVowelBlackCat YEAH!

    --Two gorgeous decks of Color Vowel Duo: 110 full-color professional-grade playing cards, manufactured in the USA and packaged in a pretty tuck box.
    --An emailed PDF of our printable reading/pronunciation game, "Color Vowel Memory: Tricky Words"
    --Acknowledgement on our Happy Wall of Gratitude.

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    26 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    #ColorVowelGreenTea #TESOL16
    Celebrate TESOL's 50th anniversary by supporting Duo!
    (TESOL = Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, aka ESL teachers)

    --Two gorgeous decks of Color Vowel Duo
    --TWO printable activities, "Color Vowel Memory: Tricky Words" AND "Color Vowel Discovery Activity" (PDFs)
    --Acknowledgement on our Happy Wall of Gratitude

    PLUS, if you attend the TESOL 2016 Convention (April 6-8, Baltimore) and stop by our table (Booth #537), we'll send you home with a special Color Vowel goodie (available only in person while supplies last).

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    55 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $85 or more About $85

    #ColorVowelRedDress Classroom SET!
    --FOUR decks of Color Vowel Duo for your own classroom or a classroom you want to support
    --Our printable game, "Color Vowel Memory: Tricky Words" (PDF)
    --Acknowledgement on our Happy Wall of Gratitude

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    9 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    #ColorVowelCupOfMustard Classroom Set PLUS!

    --Four decks of Color Vowel Duo
    --A copy of our book, "The Color Vowel Approach: Resources for Connecting Pronunciation to Reading and Spelling"
    --Acknowledgement on our Really Happy Wall of Gratitude

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    40 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $121 or more About $121

    A ‘LAURA’ of all Trades

    That’s Laura: Duo game developer, graphic designer, photographer, and ESL teacher to name a few. Contribute here, and get a piece of Laura!

    -- Four decks of Duo
    -- One SIGNED #WhatColorDoYouHear poster designed and signed by Laura herself.
    --Acknowledgement on our Very Happy Wall of Gratitude

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    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited 6 backers
    $

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    Pledge $122 or more About $122

    Sure… call me SHIRLEY

    Co-creator of the Color Vowel Chart and ELTS Training Director, Shirley is also a brilliant visual artist. ‘Surely’ you must get a piece of Shirley!

    -- Four decks of Duo
    -- One personalized creation by Shirley, inspired by our “What Color is your Name?” activity, featuring your name. (This option involves a phone consult because, after all, do you even know what Color your name is?)
    -- Thanks on our Colorful Happy Wall of Gratitude

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    Limited 7 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $123 or more About $123

    Heaps of faith and a LOT of laundry: KAREN

    Co-creator of the Color Vowel Chart, Director of ELTS, and chronically over-caffeinated, Karen is also a singer-songwriter. Get a piece of Karen!

    --Four decks of Duo
    --One signed copy of Karen’s original CD, Faith & Laundry
    --Thanks on our Happy, Toe-Tapping Wall of Gratitude

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    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited 6 backers
    $

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    The Duo TRIO: Laura, Shirley, and Karen

    --Three sets of Duo

    --the TRIO: A signed poster from Laura, a customized creation by Shirley, and a signed CD of Karen's album.

    --Thanks on our Triple-Happy Wall of Gratitude

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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 2 backers
    $

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    The Duo Literacy Angel

    --Six sets of Color Vowel Duo for you to donate to a school, library or other organization of your choice

    --Two copies of our new book, "The Color Vowel Approach: Resources for Connecting Pronunciation to Reading and Spelling"

    --Thanks on our Angelic Happy Wall of Gratitude

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    3 backers
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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    COMMUNITY Duo Package (with training!)

    Be this educationally-minded donor, and we’ll send 30 beautiful decks of Duo to a cooperating school district, library system, or other organization of your choosing.

    We’ll then schedule and deliver an interactive training session for staff (60 minutes, via online video), to help them make the most of Color Vowel Duo as a fun and compelling reading-pronunciation game for children and adults of all language backgrounds.

    Oh, and we’ll acknowledge your generosity and the receiving organization on our Super Thankful Happy Wall of Gratitude.

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    Limited 2 backers
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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    CUSTOM Color Vowel Duo: “What Color is your Life?”

    Be this major donor, and we'll create a CUSTOM deck of Color Vowel Duo containing words that reflect YOUR interests and the names of people and places you care most about.

    We’ll schedule a 20-minute video interview with you, through which we collect your favorite words and themes.

    You’ll receive 10 decks of your Custom Edition of Duo- perfect gifts!-- as well as one regular deck of Duo.

    Needless to say, we'll post your name on our Customized Happy Wall of Gratitude.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    We’ll Come to YOU—The Complete Color Vowel Approach training

    Be this philanthropic donor, and we'll travel anywhere in the US, Canada, or Mexico to personally deliver 100 decks of Color Vowel Duo *and* our revolutionary two-day Color Vowel Approach training for up to 30 educators at a cooperating language/literacy organization or school system of your choice.

    Each workshop participant will receive a deck of Color Vowel Duo, a copy of our brand new book, "The Color Vowel Approach: Connecting Pronunciation to Reading and Spelling," a Color Vowel Chart binder insert, and an instructional kazoo.

    We will work closely with you and the institution to schedule this exclusive training anytime after September 1, 2016 and before June 2018.

    Perhaps it goes without saying, but we'll post your name and that of the educational organization our Overwhelmingly Happy Wall of Gratitude.

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Funding period

- (32 days)