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Unlocking literacy and opportunity around the world

World Vision
24 April 2018 by Gabrielle Bourke
Unlocking literacy and opportunity around the world

Happy World Book Day! Today we’re celebrating the generosity and commitment of our partners to boost literacy and encourage a love of reading in children around the world. Since 2012, World Vision Australia has partnered with Pearson Australia to deliver more than 515,000 learning materials to children across southern and eastern Africa.

Pearson textbooks, storybooks and education toolkits encourage children to become actively engaged as young learners. They provide the foundation for quality education and support children’s right to education in relief and development settings.

World Vision’s approach to education

As World Vision works to educate girls and boys for life, we draw on our expertise implementing education programming in nearly 100 countries around the world, in both relief and development settings. Our programming aims to ensure access to quality education opportunities for children and youth, ages 3 to 18, from preschool through the completion of secondary school or vocational training.

We work with children, families and communities so that:

•  Children can read, write and use numeracy skills
•  Children can make good judgements, protect themselves, manage their emotions and communicate ideas
•  Adolescents are ready for economic opportunity
•  Children can access and complete education

Pearson books in Zimbabwe

In the community of Chihota in eastern Zimbabwe, our partnership with Pearson delivers quality learning materials to equip children for lifelong learning and success. World Vision began working in Chihota in 2011, when school enrolment was below 80 percent and an average of 10 children shared one textbook. Education was one of three program areas identified by the Chihotan community as a priority focus for work with World Vision until 2026.

The impact of Pearson resources in Chihota is amplified through integration with the World Vision Literacy Boost program. Literacy Boost is a proven literacy program that supports the development of reading skills in young children through reading assessments, teacher training and community engagement. Students who take part in Literacy Boost can increase their reading comprehension by 30 percent!

Photo by World Vision staff.

Giving literacy a “boost”

Literacy Boost is different from other reading programmes because it gives entire communities the tools they need to encourage their children to get excited about reading. Literacy Boost strengthens national education curricula so that ministries of education and teachers can use the tools they already have, complemented by additional training, to help children learn to read with increased comprehension.

In Chihota, Literacy Boost has created space in the community for children who might not have access to books at home to continue learning with their friends. After-school reading camps and clubs are led by local volunteers who teach children songs, games and stories that reinforce what they are learning in school. Book banks act as portable libraries full of colourful story books – often written by parents and community members – that reflect children’s values, traditions, language and culture. Reading Buddies are paired with children to encourage reading in the home. Parents are also taught how to support their children’s learning needs by creating reading corners, or using found materials to practise writing skills.

Pearson books are integrated into a holistic education strategy in Chihota, which aims to improve education standards through the following measures:

•  Equipping schools with books and other learning resources
•  Raising awareness about the rights of children with a disability and improving their access to education
•  Supporting pre-school education
•  Building and renovating classrooms
•  Introducing adult literacy classes and promoting the Literacy Boost program in primary schools
•  Facilitating inter-school academic competitions.

Photo by Simon Peter Esaku/World Vision.

In Chihota, as around the world, our partnership with Pearson provides vital resources for children to grow and thrive, unlocking their potential to learn and achieve at school and beyond. Together, we’re empowering children with the skills and knowledge for a more promising future!

Gabrielle Bourke Gabrielle Bourke

Gabrielle supports the acquisition and integration of high-impact, field-driven resources at World Vision Australia.


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