April 7, 2022
On World Health Day 2022, the World Health Organization is drawing attention to actions needed to keep humans and the planet healthy and fostering a movement to create societies focused on well-being. All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development (ACR GCD) is joining with others around the world to highlight the importance of global health by sharing how increasing literacy can go hand-in-hand with fostering a healthier planet and the well-being of the most vulnerable in our global community.
Literacy is key to participating and succeeding in education, a proven factor in reducing poverty and increasing the well-being of individuals and communities. Better education also leads to increased awareness about good health practices. The social, emotional and physical health of children and their communities can be supported and nurtured through meaningful books that help children not only learn to read but gain valuable information about good health practices, such as hand-washing, disease prevention and personal hygiene, as well as learn essential social and emotional skills that can help them develop positive relationships with others and the world around them.
At ACR GCD, we are committed to increasing access to literacy for the more than 584 million children waiting to learn to read–and as part of our mission, we support and fund the development of accessible books in languages children use and understand, including those that advocate for a healthier planet and healthier lives. Below is a sampling of just a few of these books–all free to access, read, download and translate:
- Layla’s Project, a story about a grandfather who inspires his granddaughter to lead the way in fighting global warming that features the impact of empowering girls to take leadership to effect change and make the world a better place (also read in its original Arabic).
- The Garbage Monster, an imaginative story that features a boy who innovatively solves problems in his community by introducing them to recycling and repurposing their garbage (also read in its original Arabic).
- Sniffles, developed by Pratham Books and uploaded and translated into underserved languages by ACR GCD innovator SIL LEAD, is about a girl who has sniffles the day of the Famous Football Cup that explores what happens and how best to avoid the sniffles.
- Grandpa Hates Medicine, a story about a caring grandson convincing his grandfather to take medicine that he needs (created and available in Arabic).
- Keith Has Clean Teeth, about a young girl who hopes to convince a robot who loves candy to brush his teeth before it’s too late (created and available in Arabic).
- Hands that Save Lives, a Filipino sign language storybook about a deaf boy’s experience managing emotions and uncertainties and modeling responsible decision-making during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Aminata and the Red Spiky Ball, an original story from the point of view of a young girl in Mali trying to understand and react to the pandemic.
- My Hero is You, a critically acclaimed story by Helen Patuck that explores the fears children experience around the COVID-19, translated into additional underserved languages by ACR GCD innovators for children in Papua New Guinea, Malawi, Nepal and Laos (read the story in English, Yao, Tok Pisin and multiple other languages).
On World Health Day, take the opportunity to be part of the solution to ensure that every child has access to books that can help to not only create lifelong readers but also foster a healthier planet and healthier lives. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Raise awareness on social media. Need a post? Share ours on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.
- Read and share the accessible books listed above.
- Learn about more books that incorporate meaningful social and emotional learning concepts.
- Learn about how three-time ACR GCD award winner SIL LEAD led an effort that has spurred the creation of a collection of COVID-19 children’s books in more than 150 languages.
- Sign up for our eNewsletter to get the latest news and EdTech innovations to increase reading outcomes for marginalized children in low-resource contexts.
Be part of the solution to get all children reading and live healthier lives!