We are delighted to share that StoryWeaver has been selected by the Qatar Foundation’s flagship education initiative, WISE, as a finalist for the 2020 WISE Awards. Each year, the WISE Awards recognize and promote innovative and impactful projects from around the world that are addressing today’s most pressing global educational challengEs.
The 15 WISE Awards finalists come from 10 countries and were selected from a pool of 625 submissions evaluated according to strict criteria. Selected projects needed to be established, innovative educational projects that have already demonstrated a transformative impact on individuals, communities, and society in their context. They also needed to be financially stable, have a clear development plan, and be scalable and replicable.
StoryWeaver is working towards addressing the global book gap by providing open and free access to quality storybooks in multiple languages to promote reading acquisition among children. At the platform’s core, is a repository of high-quality, openly licensed, multilingual storybooks from Pratham Books and other reputed publishers. While the platform is digital, the books are available in multiple formats to overcome the issue of digital access and can be read online, offline, or downloaded and printed. StoryWeaver has also embedded simple tools on the platform that allow users to further translate and version the books for localized requirements.
The StoryWeaver Model: Working towards bridging the book gap
This has led to a massive increase of over 2200% in the availability of local language books. StoryWeaver was launched in 2015 with 800 storybooks in 24 languages. Today it provides access to more than 20,000 books in 238 languages, to readers from all around the world.
Supporting and scaling the creation of books for children in diverse languages (58% of the languages featured on the platform are indigenous)
Providing access to diverse and inclusive storybooks for children
Suzanne Singh, Chairperson of Pratham Books, says: "StoryWeaver's vision is to massively scale the creation and distribution of reading resources for children in mother tongue languages. Our endeavor is to address the global scarcity of books for children and arm every child with the power of knowledge and opportunity. By providing access to thousands of storybooks, the platform has enabled educators to make classrooms more engaging, libraries more diverse and most importantly, make learning fun for children. With StoryWeaver, we have opened up a new pathway to nurture a generation of readers.”
StoryWeaver has seen a huge global uptick in usage as a result of children being at home due to forced school closures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As education systems are adapting to remote learning as a solution during this time, StoryWeaver is providing open access to a large repository of quality content that is being used widely.
Empowering educators with curated, high-quality open access resources
Stavros N. Yiannouka, CEO of WISE, says: “Our world is experiencing a crisis that is affecting all facets of our lives. Education is no exception, and indeed the need for innovation is all the more urgent because of the systemic shortcomings that the crisis has exposed. In this context, the work celebrated by the WISE Awards is critically important. Each of the 2020 WISE Awards finalists has built an effective, tested solution to a global educational challenge. Whether ensuring access to fundamental early childhood education or imparting valuable entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills, each project is already transforming lives, and provides an inspirational model for others to emulate. As we look forward to recognising this year’s WISE Awards winners it is imperative that policymakers and civil society leaders around the world seriously address the need to bring some of these innovations to scale.”
With users from over 150 countries, StoryWeaver is harnessing the power of open licences, collaboration, and technology to create a societal platform that is providing open access to thousands of books in local languages to nurture the next generation of readers and learners. This scale would not have been possible without the power of collaboration: Publishers who have open-licensed their content at scale. Linguists and translators who have created and translated content into new languages. Educators in every nook and corner of the world who have welcomed StoryWeaver into their classrooms and the hearts of their students.
We are grateful to our wonderful network for helping us share the joy of reading in hundreds of languages, and to WISE for this recognition.
Learn more about the 2020 WISE Awards and other finalists at http://www.wise-qatar.org/wise-awards
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