Improvements in Early Grade Reading through Grade-appropriate Leveled Reading Books

Students improve reading and comprehension by reading grade and age appropriate books.
Elementary school students reading from leveled reading books. Through a combination of text, pictures and book-related discussions and exercises, the books promote increased comprehension, expansion of vocabulary, and skill development.
Swiny Andina, USAID Indonesia

CHALLENGE

The national Early Reading Grade Assessment in 2014 found that less than half of the nation’s students were reading fluently with comprehension. Factors that affect reading performance include: family income, location, poor nutrition, age, and poor education resources. At the school level, higher performance is associated with better educational infrastructure and the use of libraries. Unfortunately, most libraries do not have sufficient reading books that are relevant and age-appropriate.

INITIATIVE

USAID has consistently provided support to basic education by working closely with schools, Teacher Training Institutes (TTIs), and government at the central, provincial and local levels. Through the PRIORITAS (Prioritizing Reform, Innovation, and Opportunities for Reaching Indonesia’s Teachers, Administrators, and Students) program, USAID has committed itself to encouraging improvements in early grade reading by developing grade-appropriate reading books that will enrich current classroom instruction.

USAID supported the printing and delivery of reading books for early grade students (grades 1-4) in more than 12,000 schools in Aceh, North Sumatra, Banten, West Java, Central Java, East Java, South Sulawesi, Papua, and West Papua. This initiative is expected to magnify the impact of the Minister of Education and Culture’s new directive to hold a 15-minute reading period in all schools.

Through a combination of text, pictures and book-related discussions and exercises, the books promote increased comprehension, expansion of vocabulary, and skill development. The distribution of the reading books is followed by training sessions conducted by PRIORITAS for teachers and principals in using the books. The initial number of direct beneficiaries is expected to be 1.4 million students.  Assuming a book life expectancy of five years, the total number of student beneficiaries will be 3.7 million.

RESULTS

  • More than 7.5 million reading books printed and shipped to Indonesia. The books arrived at the end of December 2015 and were delivered to warehouses in January 2016 for distribution to schools in March 2016.
  • The books support the Government of Indonesia’s new directive to strengthen a culture of reading as a means to improve students’ performance in reading, math, and science and to increase social awareness.
  • The books also promote greater awareness of the importance of reading among students, parents, teachers, school administrators, and government officials.

Last updated: June 06, 2017

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