Improving Children’s Literacy Skills in Africa
According to UNESCO, sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rates of education exclusion. Around 182 million adults are illiterate and over one-fifth of children between the ages of about 6 and 11 are out of school, followed by one-third of youth between the ages of about 12 and 14.
Since 2014, the World Literacy Foundation started the development of Sun Books in Africa, an EdTech project to provide quality educational resources to children in regional and remote communities through the use of sustainable, solar-powered technology. Last year, more than 9,927 children were benefited from our project.
Sun Books brings together innovative software and hardware, books and educational activities, and the local community itself to enhance the literacy skills of children in off-the-grid classrooms.
HOW WE DO IT
We’re Merging Technology and Education
We work with the local community, partners and volunteers to create meaningful and culturally relevant content for our literacy app.
Teachers are a fundamental element for the successful implementation of Sun Books. We organize training sessions where teachers learn how to use the tablets as a digital learning tool to improve their pedagogical strategies.
Teachers organize reading and writing workshops with students where they explore the content pre-loaded on the tablets, learn and have fun with the over 500 eBooks and activities included there.
We implement evaluations to track the impact of Sun Books program on children. This allow us to identify strengths and aspects to be improved in order to exceed the outcomes.
After evaluations, we determine and apply changes needed to improve the educational content and pedagogical processes with children to create a better and more rewarding learning environment for them.
By giving the gift of literacy today, you are empowering a child with reading and writing skills needed to succeed at school and beyond.
Ten-year-old Esther’s big brown eyes light up as she talks about the Aprendo Leyendo program. “I enjoy coming every week because Miss Paulina teaches us to read and write!” she says enthusiastically.
In many ways, Esther is like most young girls. She loves wearing pink clothes and the fantasy of fairy tales and unicorns. But her life isn’t easy. She lives with 15 family members in a small bamboo and concrete house in the humble neighborhood of El Carmen in Manizales, Colombia. Three generations cram the two-level home, and the rooms are divided by curtains instead of walls.
Esther and her four siblings are raised by her single mother. Her 60-year-old mom, Melinda, works Monday to Saturday cleaning houses to provide the basics for her family. Despite all, her family is close and makes the best of things because they have no choice.
Esther is in third grade and goes to a public school. Although it’s funded by the government, resources are very limited, and the quality of education is extremely low. Though the school’s been closed for months now due to COVID-19.
Luckily, Esther’s been able to keep attending the Aprende Leyendo program every week since she was six with her younger brother, Angel Fabian. The program has been a vital resource to keep them learning during the school shutdowns. Program Manager, Paula Correa, helped set up the reading room at a local community hub in 2014 to give disadvantaged children access to books, mentoring and help improve their reading.
Like many other children facing poverty and hardship in Colombia, Esther had no books at home. Aprende Leyendo and the World Literacy Foundation donated food, clothes, and books to her family, so now Esther can read at home too. Esther wants to be a policewoman when she grows up to take care of people in her community. We think her dream will come true because the gift of literacy opens endless possibilities for children in need. Thanks to your support we can help disadvantaged children in Latin America by providing them with quality educational resources and support to change their futures and break their cycle of poverty.