August 15, 2017

EDC, USAID Launch Program to Promote Reading in Ghana

New project encourages reading as a “shared pleasure and responsibility” for families and communities.

A nationwide campaign to encourage reading among families kicked off in Jamestown, Ghana, this month with dozens of government, education, and development leaders and community members in attendance. The USAID Partnership for Education: Innovating Activity is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by EDC.

Innovating aims to engage Ghanaian parents, caregivers, civil society, the private sector, and the Government of Ghana to raise awareness about the importance of reading, encourage reading at home, and spur action among families and communities to increase the amount of time spent reading.

“With this activity, we hope to engage the Ghanaian family and to work with communities to build a culture of reading by advocating for the importance of reading for individual and national development,” said EDC’s Sera Kariuki, Innovating’s chief of party.

EDC will be launching a nationwide media campaign, including TV and radio public service announcements, to disseminate messages about the value of reading, even if parents cannot read themselves. The campaign emphasizes reading with children, encouraging children to read on their own, providing a home environment conducive to reading, helping with homework, and taking children to the library.

Alongside community-based organizations and volunteers, Innovating will also build a strong network of early-grade reading champions and develop public-private partnerships to promote home and community-based reading.

“By promoting reading as a shared pleasure and responsibility for children, families, and communities, we’ll be asking the public to help encourage good reading habits at home to complement learning in school,” said Adwoa Atta-Krah, acting project director for Innovating.

The project team will be working with selected communities to use the Annual Status of Education Report tool, a household survey that asks about basic reading, math, and language skills, as well as school enrollment and family characteristics. The survey will provide a snapshot of academic abilities and access to and attitudes about education. Innovating will also award 800 local grants to encourage reading outside of the classroom.