The Read India initiative seeks to reach every village in India. It will impact the education of at least 60 million children out of a total of about 200 million in the 6 to 14 age group. This effort will expand the partnerships and engage additional volunteers in order to reach these villages and schools. Pratham will increase the number of government officers and resource persons to roll out the program to the last school by appointing one coordinator per 100 villages. These coordinators will help in orienting teachers and helping them in the classroom by visiting schools regularly - focusing on the weaker schools. Efforts will also be made to mobilize volunteers in each village to help the younger children learn better and to help their parents help the children.
Pratham will follow a two pronged organizational strategy. First, expand the number of governments with whom it works to evolve teaching learning campaigns in schools, to create new teaching-learning materials, to train teachers, and to improve learning levels. Second, mobilize larger numbers of youth and other community members in villages to help the children outside the school. The village volunteers and the village government may also work with the school teacher to improve the quality of learning. In every district of India, Pratham will identify and train about one full-time youth for every 100 villages who will carry out the above strategic tasks. A state-level Resource Group will assist in training and creation of learning materials.
The teaching learning strategy involves introduction of a daily 'reading period' in the school calendar with supply of additional graded reading material for children. A campaign period of two to three months during the year will focus on reading and math for class I and II children on the one hand and remedial learning of these skills for children in higher classes who have not yet learnt them. The principle of 'learning by doing' will be applied in learning numbers, and the four basic arithmetic operations.
Read India has the following elements:
1. Time: Children spend focused time in schools or in their community on learning activities developed by Pratham to build basic reading and arithmetic skills
2. People: Pratham trains school teachers and volunteers to equip them to work with children
3. Materials: Pratham generates and distributes age appropriate graded reading materials
4. Evaluation: Both internally and through external agencies
The 'Book for Every Child' campaign will seek over the next three years to ensure that every child in India 5 to 10 years of age gets his/her first book. Most children in India get only their textbooks and no other reading materials. Pratham will provide books and reading cards to children so that each child reads about 50 small books or 100 reading cards. (A reading card is one back to back page of reading material - story, information, puzzles, etc). Each book will cost about $0.50 and each reading card about $0.05.
Pratham's nationwide survey - Annual Status of Education Report - shows that 94 percent of children are enrolled in schools but about half of them cannot read, write, or solve basic arithmetic of grade I or grade II level. The Read India campaign addresses this situation and has two components. The first is Pratham's plans to expand collaboration with state governments and other partners to achieve the Read India goals. A set of goals such as 'By the end of 1st grade, all children should at least be able to read words and recognize numbers up to 100' are set up for either each grade or for a group of grades.