All Children Reading

Estrellitas del Mañana", in the community of Agua Blanca, Distrito Central, Francisco Morazán, Honduras.
Estrellitas del Mañana," in the community of Agua Blanca, Distrito Central, Francisco Morazán, Honduras.
Toby Jorrin

Many primary grade children in low income countries cannot read at grade level.  In addition, around 40% of those who are learning to read are taught in a language they don’t speak or fully understand. Since early grade reading competency is essential to success in later grades, children who do not learn to read at an early age will likely make limited educational progress throughout their lives. They will have limited economic and developmental opportunities as a result.

USAID is working to produce meaningful, measurable improvement in student reading for the largest possible number of children through support for programs that:

  • Improve teaching techniques and learning materials
  • Support regular assessments in partner countries to measure reading skills
  • Maximize instruction time spent on basic skills in the classroom, especially reading
  • Support instruction in native languages in early grades
  • Promote parental and community involvement in early grade reading

Progress to Date

USAID works to provide access to a quality education for children and youth in 46 countries worldwide. Between 2011-2015, USAID-supported All Children Reading and Education in Crisis and Conflict basic education programs have directly benefited 41.6 million individual learners. Donor and country partners have extended our approaches to a further 10.3 million, bringing the overall reach of our programming to 51.9 million learners--that’s equivalent to the total number of children enrolled in primary school in North America and Western Europe.

Examples of our successes include:

  • Kenya, USAID and the government built on prior joint programming to launch the national Tusome initiative, reaching an annual 1.1 million Kenyan children, half of whom are girls, to build basic reading skills across 23,000 public schools.
  • In Malawi, USAID and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) launched the Malawi Early Grade Reading Improvement Activity (MERIT), which supports Government of Malawi efforts to improve the reading skills of all learners in Standards 1-4 in all public primary schools.
  • In the Philippines, one million children in early grades have benefited from USAID reading programs, including 14,500 out-of-school children who are now in school.

Overall, between 2011-2015, USAID-supported All Children Reading and Education in Crisis and Conflict basic education programs have directly benefited 41.6 million individual learners. Donor and country partners have extended our approaches to a further 10.3 million, bringing the overall reach of our programming to 51.9 million learners--that’s equivalent to the total number of children enrolled in primary school in North America and Western Europe.

Learn More

Read more about USAID’s programs:

See how USAID is partnering to make a difference in global education

Related Sectors of Work 

Last updated: November 15, 2017

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