USAID distributes 5.2 million storybooks to early primary pupils in Adamawa, Gombe

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has supported the distribution of supplementary Hausa reading materials – Ina Son Karatu! (I Want to Read! in Hausa) – to 157,000 primary grade learners in Adamawa and Gombe states.

The USAID Strengthening Education in Northeast Nigeria (SENSE) activity, implemented by the American University of Nigeria (AUN), developed the packages for the two states, which contain more than 5.2 million copies of educational reading materials produced with USAID’s evidence-based early grade reading methodology using global best practices.

“Through years of conflict, education in the northeast has been decimated,” USAID Mission Director Anne Patterson said. “Working with AUN, we are helping to rebuild the system by providing materials that employ evidence-based methods to start thousands of children off on a lifetime of reading.”

At ceremonies in Gombe on May 26 and Yola on May 19, each learner received a take-home booklet that contains up to 30 different stories and books at varying levels designed to help them advance their reading competence over a whole academic year. SENSE has encouraged parents to ask their children to read the stories to them after school to further improve their reading proficiency.

Over three years, SENSE will reach more than 200,000 learners, and train and provide teaching materials to 5,000 teachers to improve reading in the Hausa language. SENSE helps enable the education systems in Gombe and Adamawa to deliver accessible high-quality education that responds to the needs of all children.

The SENSE approach to encouraging reading is supported by research on effective methods of teaching reading in the early grades. A USAID-supported study by the American Institutes for Research identifies that the availability of plentiful reading materials in different forms relevant to the reader’s background, language, and interests for independent reading results in significantly higher results.

The SENSE activity has also trained and supplied teachers and learners with Mu Karanta! Hausa teaching and learning materials developed under its sister USAID Northern Education (NEI) Plus activity, and the Reading and Numeracy Activity funded by UNICEF.

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