October 11, 2021
On International Day of the Girl Child, the United Nations is drawing attention to how the pandemic has accelerated digital platforms for learning while also highlighting gaps in digital realities and the need to support girls’ digital access, skills and creativity.
ACR GDC’s innovators are committed to bridging gaps like these as they work to meet the needs of all learners by advancing educational technology innovation and research to improve reading outcomes for all learners, especially children in marginalized and low-resource contexts.
One of the ways ACR GDC is supporting these efforts is by open sourcing solutions and funding the development of engaging materials and books in underserved languages, including sign language and braille, and making them available for free on platforms like the Global Digital Library, which currently contains over 6000 digital books in 90 languages–including Grace in Space, a wonderful story about a young girl with a disability who journeys to space, written by Syrian poet and children’s author Obai Al-Alloush and illustrated by Sara Wafeeq.
Grace in Space is one of 100 open source, STEM-focused books produced in Arabic and English through ACR GCD’s No Lost Generation EdTech Summit Prize by awardee Asafeer Education Technologies. It was recently highlighted by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which commemorated International Literacy Day last month by releasing a video featuring USAID Administrator Samantha Power and NASA astronaut Jessica Meir reading the book:
Inherent in EdTEch solutions implemented by ACR GCD innovators are ways to assure that their solutions are used in ways that do not exacerbate the digital divide but bridge barriers and gaps in support, especially for the most vulnerable children. By advancing EdTech innovation and solutions–which provide wonderful and accessible materials and books like Grace in Space–ACR GCD innovators are helping to address gaps and barriers to child literacy.
Today, take the time to read and share Grace in Space and other books on GDL–and learn how you can be a part of EdTech solutions for 387 million children globally waiting for the opportunity to learn to read.