Teacher training

Based on international best practices, we provide teacher in-service training with a focus on conceptual and classroom issues and child-centered, interactive teaching methods that support the acquisition of reading and writing skills.

That training is coupled with one-on-one support in the classroom which is conducted on a regular basis throughout the year by our literacy facilitators. Facilitators help each teacher practice the new teaching methods, providing guidance and feedback throughout the year.

Material development

Without the proper materials, teaching early literacy skills is extremely challenging, but in developing countries that is the case more often than not. We work to identify holes in the government curriculum and then create materials to supplement the standard textbook. This may include letter cards for phonics practice, word cards to help with print recognition, pre-writing exercises to develop motor skills and workbooks to guide remediation exercises.

We share our materials and best practices with the governments we work with as well as other NGOs. Our hope is to improve reading instruction in a way that can be incorporated into the government curriculum and scaled to entire regions of the world -offering the potential to lift millions out of poverty.

Targeting environmental factors

At the government level, we advocate for more instruction time in public schools devoted to the acquisition of literacy skills and more training for teachers. Our local team combines cutting-edge research from around the globe with their knowledge of the unique challenges facing each individual community to devise a customized Reading & Writing Instruction program that suits the local context.

We also reach out directly to the communities we work in through events and workshops, to be sure that they understand the value of building children’s literacy skills. Support from parents to practice reading at home can greatly affect a child’s acquisition of reading and writing skills, so we encourage each of our local teams to conduct community awareness in the way they think will be most effective.

Making phonics fun

In addition to providing teachers with supplementary materials, we encourage them to create their own tools that bring literacy lessons to life. These materials create a print-rich environment that reinforces the curriculum. Ms. Chanda, a teacher at Nakatete Basic School in Zambia, combines the materials with instructional songs that keep the young readers in her class engaged and excited to learn.

Visit Ms. Chanda’s Classroom »

Positive changes

Our Reading and Writing Instruction program began when our staff in-country noticed that many children in the schools where we work were unable to read at grade level, and therefore could not take full advantage of the resources we provided through the School Library program.

We began piloting Reading and Writing Instruction support in 2008 in India, which led to similar pilots in several other countries. We work with leading educational consultants, teachers, governments and our


local staff to develop a program that targets existing shortfalls in early-grade literacy curriculum, and in 2011 began to transition several countries out of the pilot phase.

Early results show that students’ core literacy skills in grades one and two are greatly improved after participating in our program with respect to their peers, especially in reading comprehension.

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Have questions?

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Global Office:
+1 (415) 839-4400
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Mon-Fri, excluding holidays

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