• John Iwasaki

Ready2Read Challenge Awarded to Three Projects Building Language and Literacy with EdTech

Updated: Feb 2



 

ILC Africa will place 400 Amplio Talking Books into 50 Early Childhood Development centers in rural Malawi to contribute to the pre-literacy skills of children ages 4-6 years old. This story is re-posted from the All Children Reading website. Read the full announcement here.

 

The Asia Foundation, ILC Africa, and Rochester Institute of Technology to address gaps in early learning among children in Nepal, Malawi, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and the Philippines


Despite increased funding for early grade reading over the past decades, more than 175 million children globally do not have access to pre-primary education, according to the World Bank. Lack of early education facilities, along with ongoing school closures due to COVID-19, have compounded the problem. For children who are deaf, the challenge is exacerbated by a lack of deaf language materials, play activities, and reading opportunities within a deaf child’s family that cannot sign. This results in language deprivation and learning delays even before children start school.


Three organizations addressing those challenges using EdTech solutions were today named winners of the Ready2Read Challenge, a global competition of All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development. The awardees proposed solutions grounded in Universal Design for Learning that support parents, teachers, and facilitators with resources and tools to narrow the gap in early childhood learning, including those exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Asia Foundation (TAF), ILC Africa, and Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf (RIT/NTID) were each awarded $150,000 or more to help children ages 3 to 6 to build foundational language and literacy skills at home and at school in low-resource countries.


ILC Africa


ILC Africa, in conjunction with Amplio Network and the Association of Early Childhood Development in Malawi (AECDM) will introduce the Amplio Talking Book into 50 early childhood education centers in Malawi to develop pre-literacy skills in children ages 3 to 5. The Talking Book is a sustainable, battery-powered audio device that can deliver hours of content on demand in rural areas. ILC Africa will adapt Malawi’s early childhood development curriculum into individual lessons uploaded to the Talking Books, enabling students and families to listen and learn together in local languages.


Watch Ahmed Satti explain ILC Africa's Reading2Read project in Malawi.


“The Talking Books will help build child literacy during the project period, but also for subsequent years as they will be left in the communities,” said Ahmed Satti, ILC Africa’s director of external affairs. “Furthermore, our proposal directly addresses the children’s environments by integrating the Talking Books into daily lives, building the capacities of teachers and community members, and changing attitudes towards the importance of early childhood education.”


By the completion of the project, he said, “We hope that the project overall improves not only literacy levels for the children, but also gives the parents, caregivers, and teachers involved a better appreciation of the importance of developing literacy skills at an early age and the support through time and resources needed for this to happen.”


 

See ILC Africa's project overview on the All Children Reading website.

 

Ready2Read was made possible through the support of the All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development (ACR GCD) Founding Partners (the United States Agency for International Development [USAID], World Vision, and the Australian Government).