Sakhi is eight years old and can comfortably read full sentences from books.
“This isn’t extraordinary,” you might think.
But for Sakhi, this is. A few months ago, she could barely even recognise alphabets. Withdrawn and introverted, she would seldom participate in any activity. Her parents too had no clue of how Sakhi fared at school.
Sakhi is just one among the thousands of children in India who lack age-appropriate learning.
Life turned around for Sakhi, when she got to be part of the Literacy Boost programme organised by World Vision India in her community.
Literacy Boost is an innovative and proven programme that is aimed at developing the reading skills in young children, thus ensuring.
“Sakhi has shown considerable progress in her reading skills since she joined the reading club” says Pooja, the reading club facilitator in a village in Aparajita.
“I like reading the most” says Sakhi “but I also like the ‘make and take activity’ where we are asked to draw or write something from what we learned at the reading club. We take that home and store in our reading corners.”
Apart from capacity building of teachers and providing reading materials, we also provide resources that are used by children for various activities in the reading camps and schools.
“We were taught to use various activities to make learning fun for children during the trainings conducted by World Vision India” says Pooja. “The results have been wonderful as children are more eager to learn now,” she continues.
World Vision India not only builds a child’s interest and ensures he or she attends school but also generates awareness among parents to encourage their children to study.
“World Vision India has taught us how to be involved in our child’s education even at home,” says Babu, Sakhi’s father. “When Sakhi returns from school, we ask her about her day in school and everything she learnt to ensure she understands what is being taught.”
“I’ve also studied till the eighth standard so I help her read and study at home. Today she is able to comfortably read full sentences from books,” says Babu.
Pooja says, “There are days the reading club continues for over the usual two-hour sessions. Even then the children are happy to stay and continue learning. The various activities keep the children interested which makes learning quick and easy.”
Today Sakhi and 1450 other children are part of the programme in 66 reading clubs setup by World Vision India in four Area Development Programmes across India. The numbers continue to grow as more and more children and parents are exposed to the joy and importance of education.
The three-fold approach of the Literacy Boost Programme:
Reading Assessments: By opening up reading clubs, the habit of reading is inculcated among children. Facilitators of the reading clubs are trained by World Vision India to use various activities like songs, storytelling and games to make learning fun for children.
Capacity Building: The capacity of the teachers is built so teachers can keep the children engaged and interested in reading books. 64 primary school teachers have been trained in new teaching methods to make learning fun and more interesting for children.
Community Action: The community members are encouraged to take active part in their children’s education outside school hours. The parental awareness session helps them understand the importance of education in a child’s life. 3650 parents have participated in the workshops and are equipped to enhance their child’s literacy skills.