ACR GCD and World Vision Nepal Launch Literacy Program in Nepal

The Nepal READS program will partner with local reading clubs to improve reading outcomes for children

ACR GCD and World Vision Nepal Launch Literacy Program in Nepal

Feed the Monster, Let's Read Library and Bloom Library on smartphonesAll Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development (ACR GCD) and World Vision Nepal are partnering to launch the Accelerating Nepal Reading Through EdTech Apps & Digital Stories (Nepal READS) program with reading clubs in the Kailali District of Nepal. The project begins this month and will run through February 2024.

Through the Nepal READS program, World Vision Nepal will integrate ACR GCD solutions with the Unlock Literacy (UL) project model to increase foundational literacy and reading outcomes for children. The program will provide access to hundreds of age-appropriate and culturally relevant digital books using Let’s Read Asia and Bloom Reader, two digital reading platforms enhanced through ACR GCD funding, and the Feed the Monster (Nepali) app. Over 600 digital books will be available in Nepali, the language of instruction in Nepal, and other local languages. The project will also focus on caregiver engagement to create an at-home reading culture.

The Nepal READS program will also build on ACR GCD’s Ready2Read and Play project, a curriculum to support foundational reading skills at home that includes 30 accessible digital books and caregiver sessions.

The program will also have a research element to determine what format of education technology is most effective. The study will have a mixed methods approach with three treatment groups. Treatment group one will include Ready2Read and Play caregiver sessions, books and activities and links to the online, downloadable EdTech solutions. Treatment group two will receive the same elements as treatment group one, and the reading clubs will receive an EdTech package including a tablet with downloaded EdTech solutions. The final treatment group will receive the same products as treatment group two. Randomly selected participants will receive a smartphone with the downloaded EdTech solutions for at-home use.

All treatment groups will have access to caregiver sessions, which are intended to increase parental awareness of the importance of reading. All reading club facilitators and families receiving access to the EdTech solutions will receive training on effective use of the technology.

In 2020, Early Grade Reading (EGR) research revealed that 50% of Grade 2 students could not read a single word in Nepali. These challenges were increased by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are excited to increase access to hundreds of available digital storybooks and the Feed the Monster Nepali app. We believe that access to these supplementary reading materials and literacy games coupled with appropriate training and parental support can increase reading outcomes for children in Nepal,” said Valerie Siwotso, senior program manager at ACR GCD.

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By Jamie Brian. All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development is a partnership between USAID, World Vision and the Australian Government.