USAID and CKS Announce Early Grade Reading Awards

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Center for Knowledge Societies (CKS), today, announced the three winners of the READ Alliance’s Early Grade Reading Innovation Challenge 2014.  The Read – Engage – Achieve – Dream (READ) Alliance is a $3.2 million initiative to help improve the reading skills of millions of primary school age children in India.

Announcing the awards, USAID/India Mission Director John A. Beed, said, “USAID believes that together, we can identify, support, and scale new and promising Indian innovations that will benefit children in India and around the world. The READ Alliance is making great strides in establishing partnerships to further early grade reading.”

Dr. Aditya Dev Sood, CEO, CKS said, “I’m really proud of the winners this year, but this is just the beginning. We’re looking forward to some really breakthrough educational innovations and technologies coming out of the READ Alliance in the coming year.”

The first winner, the Centre for Learning Resources, will support improved language skills for 36,000 children from tribal communities. Their program uses bilingual – home language and school language – audio-visual materials; it requires minimal teacher input and offers great potential for the program to expand in the coming years, reaching many more children.  The second winner, the Quality Education Support Trust will improve the language skills of more than 7,000 children from tribal communities and transition students from their home language to Marathi.  Finally, Karadi Path Education Company will improve English learning at grade level for more than 30,000 urban poor children from predominantly non-English speaking environments. Their proprietary approach uses stories, music, and classroom activities to enhance learning.

The announcement was made at READ Connect 2015: Invest in Children, which also featured a panel discussion on the role of multi-stakeholder partnerships to transform early grade reading in India.