For Immediate Release

Office of Press Relations

Press Release

Today, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is pleased to recognize World Book and Copyright Day. Celebrated each year on April 23, the day pays tribute to books, authors, and the joy of reading.

Books are essential tools for literacy instruction. In addition to supporting reading skills, books help reinforce curriculum, inspire children’s imagination, and even challenge stereotypes. Children with access to books at home have larger vocabularies, stronger math skills, and are exposed to new worlds. Unfortunately, high quality reading materials are not always adequately available in schools or at home, particularly over the past year due to school closures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

USAID education programs make strategic investments to ensure that all children and youth — especially those in crisis and conflict — learn to read. In response to school closures and to mitigate learning loss, USAID is serving the hardest-to-reach learners with a variety of distance learning strategies during education disruptions. In 2020, USAID supported distance learning programming over a variety of platforms including radio, television, internet, and home learning kits. Both before and during the pandemic, USAID has worked with partners around the world to support increased access to high quality reading materials. For example, USAID is a partner in the Global Book Alliance, which brings together donor agencies, multilateral institutions, and civil society organizations that are committed to bringing books to every child in the world by 2030.

USAID celebrates the global efforts to support children and youth’s access to high quality reading materials in the languages they use and understand. Continued work is necessary to ensure that these materials are available to all children and youth everywhere.

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