ABC+ to Reach More Children with More Languages using Let’s Read

Manila, November 26, 2019 — The Asia Foundation and RTI International are working with the Department of Education (DepEd) on the implementation of Advancing Basic Education in the Philippines (ABC+), a 5-year project supported by United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The technology and community driven collaboration is set to reach more children in their homes and communities by creating and adapting story books in local languages. In early October, RTI and implementing partner The Asia Foundation introduced the Let’s Read program with resounding success and appreciation to the Department of Education in Manila, Iloilo City, and Legazpi City.

The project aims to enhance the literacy, numeracy, and socio-emotional learning skills of K-3 students with communities in the Bicol Region, Western Visayas, and Maguindanao in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. The Asia Foundation’s Let’s Read program brings communities together to develop digital local language children’s books and provides them free of charge on an easy-to-use digital library. Let’s Read is one of the tools that will be used by RTI over the next five years to address the gap in quality reading materials in the local languages in schools and in homes.

As noted by Department of Education Undersecretary Tonisito M.C. Umali, Esq. during the Let’s Read event in Manila, “We need to promote the culture of reading in and out of our classrooms. Studies show that reading can improve the educational performance of children.”

The Asia Foundation’s Let’s Read initiative will support ABC+ in building communities of readers and book creators across the Philippines . Let’s Read will use BookLabs to bring together aspiring artists and authors to learn new skills from industry experts as they create high quality children’s books that reflect local identities.

To supplement the creation of new content, ABC+ will use the Let’s Read adaptation model to work with community volunteers and language experts in adapting the feeling, context, story, and themes of children’s books created with communities across Asia into local languages and local contexts.

Let’s Read BookLabs and Adaptation Activities are supported by participants from the central, regional, and division offices of the Department of Education, local government units, the academic community, and other community leaders.

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work across the region addresses five overarching goals—strengthen governance, empower women, expand economic opportunity, increase environmental resilience, and promote regional cooperation.

Read more about the Foundation’s work.

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Related locations: Philippines
Related programs: Books for Asia
Related topics: Let's Read

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Amy Ovalle, Vice President, Global Communications
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415-743-3318

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