Keep Children Reading – Global South

A distance-learning initiative to support vulnerable children across the Global South during the Covid-19 education crisis and beyond.

When Covid-19 forced students across the globe to stay home, we launched Keep Children Reading.

Worldreader’s Keep Children Reading initiative brings a free library of digital books to parents and caregivers via their mobile phones. This library enables children to continue learning from the safety of their homes while schools are disrupted.

Supporters, governments, and partners came together to help the world’s most vulnerable students.

As part of the initiative, we are:

Partnering with telecom providers in Ghana and South Africa to “zero-rate” Worldreader’s apps so that data fees don’t apply to reading our books

Working with the Peruvian government’s Ministry of Education as part of their “Aprendo En Casa” distance learning program

Collaborating with publishers to curate a new collection of digital books that have helped children avoid and cope with COVID-19

So far, we’ve brought digital books to over 3.9M households during Covid-19.

Since the global onset of Covid-19 in late March, we’ve helped thousands of students continue to read, develop essential skills, and build resilience.




active readers
on BookSmart


hours reading
and counting

The Keep Children Reading program offers a rich collection of books for children.

The library always starts with a free base collection – 100+ great local and international books.

For partners who want to offer even more to children in schools or education programs, Worldreader is offering the premium solutions for Africa, MENA, LATAM, and India with hundreds of books, training, reading data and insights, and partner branding. Contact us to learn more.

The collection can be accessed via our new BookSmart app.

BookSmart is our purpose-built app for children. Key features of the app include:

Age-appropriate books

Stories are curated for children from birth through primary grades

Local language content

100s of books are available in English, Arabic, Hindi, and Spanish

Offline reading

Books can be saved for offline reading for those with limited data

Works on any phone

Even with feature phones, parents or caregivers can access books

Low data costs

The light app, optimized for all connection speeds, keeps data costs low

Keep Children Reading supports children at home while schools are closed.

More than 1 billion children are at risk of falling behind due to school closures aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19. Worldreader’s Keep Children Reading initiative gives them a way to continue reading and learning. 

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