Time to Read Project

By end of 2017, more than 200,000 students received improved instruction in learning two basic reading skills, alphabet and sound decoding.
By end of 2017, more than 200,000 students received improved instruction in learning two basic reading skills, alphabet and sound decoding.
USAID/Kyrgyz Republic

Duration: Oct 2016 – Sep 2020

Budget: US $9,9 million

Implementing Partner: Chemonics International Inc.

Key Partners: Ministry of Education and Science KR, Ministry of Culture, Information and Tourism KR, Kyrgyz Academy of Education, Republican Institute for Advanced Training and Re-Training

Activity Location: Nationwide

USAID Time to Read Program helps to improve the foundational reading skills of students in grades 1– 4. The program works with the Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic to increase education outcomes in 900 Kyrgyz and Russian language schools.


The program works nationwide with more than 200,000 primary grade students, and approximately 9,000 teachers and school administrators to improve classroom instruction, strengthen methodological support, provide high-quality early grade reading materials, and engage the community around reading.

The program improves the quality of classroom instruction through intensive school-based teacher training on modern, instructional reading practices. Recognizing the importance of a strong school administration, the program conducts comprehensive workshops with school directors, deputy directors, librarians, and district education department and school-based methodological staff in quality reading practices and student-centered, practical pedagogical approaches. The program will also work hand-in-hand with selected pre-service institutions to adapt the training materials.

To enrich students’ learning experiences, USAID is also focusing on ensuring that primary grade students use a variety of age- and context-appropriate quality learning materials. This work includes strengthening the capacity of local authors, illustrators, and publishing houses to create new stories, and the introduction of a groundbreaking tool used to evaluate books and categorize them according to the level of difficulty. Finally, the program engages parents and communities to support students’ reading competencies.


  • The program developed 10 comprehensive training modules in Kyrgyz and Russian on five basic reading skills and classroom best practices for teachers and instructional support teams. These modules have been approved by the Ministry of Education and Science, the Kyrgyz Academy of Education, and the Republican Institute for Advanced Training and Re-Training.
  • The project trained more than 400 national trainers and about 9,000 primary grade teachers and school administrators. More than 210,000 students have benefited from improved reading instruction.
  • The Ministry of Education and Science approved the new Online Leveled Reading tool developed with USAID’s support. The tool is designed to evaluate existing and new story titles to ensure their appropriateness to children’s grade and age. This tool is the first of its kind to be created for the Kyrgyz and Russian language. The project worked with 61 local authors to help them use the tool effectively.
  • A specialized Leveled Reading Group is evaluating new and existing books using the new tool. USAID plans to publish and procure 1.2 million copies of selected story books and distribute among target schools and libraries.
  • In April 2018, the program administered a nation-wide midline Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) and Snapshot of School Management Effectiveness survey. The EGRA assessment measures student performance on the basic foundational skills required for fluency in reading and examines how reading outcomes change over time.
  • More than 74,000 students and their parents took part in hundreds of out-of-class reading activities organized under the program. Hundreds of schools across the country used the scenarios developed under the program to run small summer reading camps and International Literacy Day activities.
  • The project will train District Education Department methodologists on providing support to school-based methodological units and helping teachers improve classroom teaching practices.
  • The project will train 30 pre-service faculty members on TTR-adapted reading modules, to provide specialty expertise for teaching reading for emerging primary school teachers.

Last updated: February 12, 2019

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