The Early Grade Reading program was launched on February 14th, 2013 in Nairobi, Kenya. USAID and the government of Kenya, through the University of Nairobi, have agreed to a partnership that will last two years. Dr. Teresiah Gathenya represents the U.S. while Vice-Chancellor Professor George A.O Magoha will represent Kenya. This recent launch is a response to the All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development program. This program is an attempt to spread global education to all children in the world. It focuses on new ideas and innovations, as well as raising awareness to the problem. The Early Grade Reading program in Kenya is just one part of that powerful idea.
The program will also help teachers increase reading abilities in younger children in Nairobi. There will also be new, informational resources both in English and Kiswahili (official language of Kenya), that both teachers and students will have ready access to, in order to better learning capacities. Currently, a gap exists in the education of teachers in Kenya, but this new curriculum, or the Early Grade Reading Instruction Curriculum (EGRIC), will fill in that gap with a focus on reading education.
This EGRIC curriculum, the main innovation of the Early Grade Reading program, will focus on those wishing to become teachers who are currently taking Early Childhood Education courses at the University of Nairobi. It helps those university students become comfortable with teaching children how to read, as well as becoming comfortable with having reading be a core part of their teaching curriculum.
So, what is the impact of this program? Well, the Early Grade Reading program has the capacity to reach over 240 teachers, and potentially 12,000 or more students in Kenya. Overall, it will have a large, positive impact to the students struggling in literacy in Nairobi, Kenya.
– Corina Balsamo
Sources: All Africa, All Children Reading