Read to Kids Pilot Results Revealed in New Report
By Wendy Smith
Reading to a child from the time that they are born can have the greatest impact on their life. As a digital reading organization, we’re always on a quest to discover smarter and higher-impact ways to get more people reading.
Until recently, mobile phones really had no significant track record as reading tools for children and parents. So how can we leverage mobile technology, combined with relevant content and reading support, to encourage parental involvement in early reading?
Two years ago, together with our partners, Pearson as part of their Project Literacy campaign and Results for Development, we set out to learn more.
We’re thrilled to share we’ve released the results from our Read to Kids pilot in India. This report is just the first step of an ambitious journey. But it’s an essential one. The report contributes to a growing evidence base that lays down the groundwork for reaching millions of families around the world with digital books.
Over the course of the 2-year pilot, we learned about the importance of curating the right content, creating engaging messaging, providing the right kind of support to parents and caregivers (both physical and digital) and forming international and local partnerships to find the best way to influence parents and caregivers to read to their children. Along the way, we touched the lives of over 200,000 families and helped 7,000 of them change their reading habits and become frequent readers. We also found that:
- Digital reading is scalable and affordable.
- Women became important and indirect beneficiaries of the pilot.
- Hindi and bilingual content are the most sought after by families. Watch Shipra’s story.
- Leveraging in person, digital and media assets together best foster attitude and behavior change in parents.
And this is just the beginning. We’ve already started building on the success of the Read to Kids pilot by expanding it to conflict-impacted families in Jordan. Future iterations of the Read to Kids project in both India and Jordan will further expand on this research, continue to share findings with the emerging community of professionals working in the early childhood and digital space, and make progress towards our shared goal: a world where everyone is a reader. For more key findings and information on the pilot, read the full Read to Kids report.
The Read to Kids pilot and report is a result of a variety of dedicated and passionate partners. First and foremost, we would like to thank Pearson, via their Project Literacy campaign, for their funding and program support that allowed us to run the pilot and gather insights into how digital books on mobile phones can help get parents reading to young children.
Many thanks go also to Results for Development (R4D) for helping design the research framework and using their adaptive learning approach to capitalize on early results in a fast-moving pilot. We would also like to thank the Centre for Early Childhood Education and Development (CECED), Centre for Knowledge Societies (CKS), Happy McGarry Bowen, Hindustan Latex Family Planning Promotion Trust (HLFPPT), ITTISSA, KATHA and Society for All Round Development (SARD).