September 8 is International Literacy Day, and around the world events are happening to mark the occasion and boost awareness of the issue.
The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include, at #4, the target of achieving literacy around the world, and while of course that includes adult literacy, the key to a literate world is ensuring the youngest children are taught to read and write so they can realise their potential through their school years and beyond.
International Literacy Day 2019 has the specific theme Literacy and Multilingualism, complimenting the UNESCO 2019 Year of Indigenous Languages.
And that brings us neatly to Pratham Books in India, which four years ago launched its StoryWeaver project initially with the aim of boosting literacy among young children in India by providing stories in indigenous Indian languages.
StoryWeaver has come a long way since then, and is now global. Just a few weeks ago Storyweaver announced its 15,000th story on the free-reading site, and its 200th language.
As this post goes live there are 15,864 stories in 205 languages that have accumulated over 2.7 million reads.
As part of its “a book in every child’s hand” mission Pratham Books in 2019 is marking its 8th One Day, One Story event.
Anamika Radhakrishnan, Senior Product Manager at StoryWeaver told TNPS,
One Day, One Story helps us reach more children, and encourage them to discover the joy of reading. The program is unique in several ways, and showcases the commitment of our Reading Champions, a community of volunteers who conduct reading sessions free of cost, largely with children from under-served communities.
2019 is the eighth year of One Day, One Story. Last year’s edition saw over 5000 Reading Champions conduct 5500+ storytelling sessions in 25 Indian languages in 23 Indian states, 4 Union Territories, and 7 other countries.
This year, we have chosen two storybooks, or as we describe it – Double The Fun! Gappu Can’t Dance is a Level 1 book written by Menaka Raman and illustrated by Krishna Chandan for younger kids –
while The Weightlifting Princess is a Level 3 book written by Sowmya Rajendran and illustrated by Debasmita Dasgupta for older kids.
The remarkable success of One Day, One Story comes from the support of thousands of people outside Pratham Books: Reading Champions, who make these sessions come alive. Schools, and reading groups, that bring together children. Other non-profits, who share the joy of reading with the children they work with. Libraries, and museums, that open their doors to reading sessions. Book stores, that reach out to their younger readers. And several auditoriums, that allow us to use their facilities to delight more children.
Follow Pratham Books on twitter: @prathambooks
Follow StoryWeaver on twitter: @PBStoryWeaver