February 9, 2022
Children all over the world can now listen to NASA astronaut Jessica Meir and USAID Administrator Samantha Power narrate Grace in Space on Bloom Reader.
Grace in Space is one of 100 open source, STEM-focused books produced in Arabic and English through All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development’s (ACR GCD) No Lost Generation EdTech Summit Prize by awardee Asafeer Education Technologies. All the books were published under Creative Commons Attribution licensing, which allows others to use and adapt them for free, with appropriate accreditation.
Meir and Power originally read the book in a video released last year by USAID to commemorate International Literacy Day. SIL LEAD adapted Meir and Power’s narration to allow children to listen to the story while following along as the corresponding text is highlighted though its open-source Bloom software, which was improved through funding from the ACR GCD Enabling Writers Prize and Book Boost: Access for All Challenge to support the production of leveled and decodable books as well as a sign language book production tool. Children can view the book online or download it as an ePUB or BloomPUB, which can be viewed and heard on Android devices using the free Bloom Reader app.
ACR GCD is committed to identifying, developing and scaling the use of open source solutions that do not exacerbate the digital divide but instead overcome barriers and bridge gaps in literacy learning and support, especially for the most vulnerable children. Both Grace in Space and Bloom software are examples of how open source technology inspires and promotes scaling of solutions and innovations on a global basis for various languages and regions, making them more widely available on multiple digital library platforms.
Readers can also access Grace in Space on the Global Digital Library, Let’s Read Asia and Asafeer’s digital library. Explore more digital libraries by accessing our online collection. If you are a writer or publisher, we also encourage you to explore a variety of open source and free tools to help you write, translate and publish accessible books for children, like Bloom software or eKitabu’s Accessible EPUB Toolkit, which can help you create books with image accessible navigation, dyslexic fonts and optional sign language videos. You can access more solutions and tools in the solutions hub of our website.
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ACR GCD is a partnership between USAID, World Vision and the Australian Government