Expanding literacy with open source technology

Posted by Menaka Raman on February 21, 2018

In October of 2017, the Pratham Books team received the exciting news that Google.org had chosen our work to be the subject of a short documentary. Pratham Books has received funding from Google.org to scale the number of quality stories in multiple languages available through StoryWeaver and expand distribution and access to the platform. With their support, we have also developed a progressive web application to provide access to joyful reading material to children in infrastructure poor areas, and hundreds of Googlers have also given their time to translate stories on StoryWeaver.

Once the news came in, we began identifying outreach partners who have been a part of StoryWeaver’s journey to share how they are using the platform to take stories to the children they work with. We are fortunate at Pratham Books to having such an amazing network of onground partners who are as passionate about books and reading as we are.

After much deliberation, we reached out to three of our partners: Mantra4Change, Teach for India and Suchana. Mantra4Change is doing wonderful work with schools in urban and peri-urban areas in Bangalore empowering teachers and students to improve the quality of education.   The Teach For India Fellowship program, is an opportunity for India’s brightest and most promising youth, from the nation’s best universities and workplaces, to serve as full-time teachers to children from low-income communities in some of the nation’s most under-resourced schools.  Suchana is a community organisation working in Bolpur in the Birbhum district of West Bengal with children from the Kora and Santal community. Each partner uses StoryWeaver to seed the joy of reading in different ways, in different settings and in different languages, representing the diversity of not just StoryWeaver’s offering but the ways in which people use the platform.

A whirlwind five day schedule, saw the team from Lonely Leap, Google.org and Pratham Books criss cross Bangalore and then travel to Bolpur, to meet with and film the three partners. It was inspiring to see the commitment and passion the educators displayed, and the smiles on the faces of the children when they were reading the books.

The film was released on International Mother Language Day, 2018 and we are proud to share it on our blog!

 

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