Why is literacy a global concern?
Few gifts we give our children are as significant to their future as literacy. It is a foundational skill that sets up children for lifelong success, and in turn increases the overall income and development of the country. It leads to better health, better employment opportunities and more stable societies. Extensive research supports this and the need is massive.
“Educating girls can transform whole communities.” Earth Policy Institute
Consider that, across the globe, 250 million children cannot read or write. If all students in low-income countries left school with basic reading skills, 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty! Some of the ripple effects by numbers include:
- 10% increased earnings from just one more year in school
- 66% fewer maternal deaths if all women completed primary education
- High correlation between increased education and lower fertility rates as well as delayed childbearing*
“UNICEF urges…donors to increase their spending on education…and should focus their investments in low-income countries.”
Unfortunately, many children in developing countries don’t attend school at all or drop out before they can read or write sufficiently. Globally, 130 million children who reach fourth grade do not master the basics of reading and math. Poor teaching methods and lack of resources contribute to these outcomes. When you don’t read well, you begin a downward spiral. You become discouraged, disengaged in learning, and less likely to succeed.
That’s why reading and writing are at the forefront of our program. By creating a strong foundation through our Open Books, Open Minds curriculum, we will reverse the negative spiral, give kids hope, and lead them towards a path to enter the world better prepared, confident, and capable of finding meaningful employment.
”One of the girls in my classroom told me she would like to keep attending but that she would never be able to read. When I asked why she thought that, she said her teachers had given up on her and told her that she could never learn. Her parents believed them too.
I told her to keep coming to my class and she did. We worked together with the GLXi books and the tablet. By the end, she could read almost all the books on her level. She just needed to be taught in a different way and needed someone to believe in her so she could believe in herself. GLXi taught me that.” GLXi teacher
*Unicef, January 2015