With mobiles and other electronic gadgets empowering the mindset of every child, reading newspapers, periodicals, monthly magazines and books have taken a backseat. The time has dawned to get children back into the habit of reading, which will authorise and enlighten their minds even further.
StoryWeaver, an initiative of Pratham Books, a non-profit publisher, has launched its ‘Get Children Reading’ campaign to get millions of children reading regularly, in observance of World Storytelling Day (March 20).
BEHIND THE INITIATIVE
The theme of World Storytelling Day 2023 is ‘Together We Can’ and StoryWeaver's ‘Get Children Reading’ campaign is bringing together communities to pledge and make a commitment to nurture the habit of joyful reading in children.
Krithika Ramakrishnan, the project manager of ‘Goa is Reading’ initiative Pratham Books StoryWeaver said, “The lack of linguistic diversity in children’s books and free and open access to books is one of the key barriers in creating a lifelong love for reading and learning. StoryWeaver India's first open source, digital repository of multilingual children’s storybooks, helps bridge this gap.”
“The ‘Get Children Reading’ campaign brings a weekly curated experience around reading. Anyone can participate by simply scanning the QR code in the poster to reach the campaign page. There, they take a simple pledge to read the featured storybook with children, and can share it in their networks to inspire more people to volunteer, and get rewards for finishing their pledges,” Ramakrishnan shared.
The project manager stated that every week, StoryWeaver will curate a storybook in close to 50 languages, including English, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, French, Spanish and in underserved languages like Gondi, Konkani, Maithili, Sindhi, Surjapuri and more.
“The campaign will conclude on September 8, International Literacy Day, with the end goal of nurturing a culture of reading in children,” she added.
Partners like the Directorate of Education, Goa; Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan, Chhattisgarh and NGOs working with underserved communities like Share a Book Foundation, Rajasthan and Azad India Foundation, Kishanganj, Bihar, have been taking this initiative forward, and the first few reading sessions were conducted in schools in Goa, Rajasthan and Bihar.
Director of SCERT, Goa, Nagaraj G Honnekeri said, “Children start reading when they see someone around them reading anything from a newspaper to a book. With our partnership with Pratham Books, StoryWeaver, and the ‘Get Children Reading’ campaign, we are excited to be reaching the child in school and at home with stories in their mother tongue that they will love.”
ABOUT PRATHAM BOOKS & STORYWEAVER
Pratham Books is in a multi-year partnership with the Directorate of Education, Goa — the ‘Goa is Reading’ initiative, to set up a structured reading framework in 1,200 schools across the state. This venture, supported by Indus Towers, aims to impact young learners across Goa and will run in government schools, schools aided by the state government and private schools.
“The main objective of the ‘Goa is Reading’ intervention is to promote reading habits among students,” Ramakrishnan continued.
“Through this initiative, which is in line with recommendations of the National Education Policy (2020) and the NIPUN Bharat Guidelines, schools and teachers will have access to a large repository of openly licensed high-quality English and Marathi children’s storybooks and supplementary resources for Grades 1 to 8 via the Pratham Books reading programme. Physical reading corners will also be set up in classrooms with the Library-in-a-Classroom from Pratham Books,” Ramakrishnan added.
Senior Director at Pratham Books StoryWeaver, Purvi Shah, said, “Stories form an important part of a child’s growth and development. They introduce new words and ideas into a child’s world and expand the boundaries of their minds. With the ‘Get Children Reading’ initiative, we are excited to create a movement around reading by inviting everyone in the ecosystem to join us. Together, we can build a Reading India, one story at a time,” she concluded.
StoryWeaver (www.storyweaver.org.in) is an award winning open source digital platform of multilingual children’s storybooks from Pratham Books.
On StoryWeaver, users can read, create, translate, download, print and share stories for free. By creating a collaborative framework where the creators and consumers of children’s content can interact with one another, StoryWeaver attempts to address the scarcity of books for children.
StoryWeaver was launched in 2015 with 800 books in 24 languages. Today, the platform offers over 55,000 books in 330 languages.
Pratham Books (www.prathambooks.org) is a not-for-profit children’s book publisher founded in 2004 with the mission to see ‘a book in every child’s hand’.
Its key objective is to publish good quality, affordable storybooks in multiple languages to support reading acquisition among children.