People | November 30, 2023

Twirling Tales: Nelly Discovers Her Passion for Dancing and Reading


With BookSmart, Nelly dreams big while learning important values.

Pictures of Nelly

Nelly’s mother, Lydia, had struggled to find suitable reading materials for her young daughter. With the demanding work schedule of running her own store in Kangemi, Kenya, it was hard for Lydia and Nelly to spend quality time reading together. For Nelly, an excited five-year-old who loves stories, not being able to enjoy the adventures and delight of a book was difficult.

This all changed for them with the Cheza Soma Jifunze (CSJ) Project, which aims to incorporate play into the learning process of children aged three to five. Through the program, Nelly and her mother were introduced to BookSmart.

Nelly reading on a phone

With the stories readily available on BookSmart, Nelly can now engage with a world of books tailored to her age and reading level. She’s able to read anytime, anywhere.

Nelly’s favorite book on BookSmart, Rafiki Yangu Musa, teaches children the value of friendship. The story is not only enjoyable but also provides important life lessons. Rafiki Yangu Musa reflects Nelly’s close relationship with her best friend, Achieng. Both of them love dancing. When Nelly grows up, she says, she wants to be a dancer.

BookSmart’s simple language and engaging content mean that Lydia can help Nelly read accessible, age-appropriate books. As she continues to read and explore her dreams, Nelly’s love for books has grown. The five-year-old even enjoys reading the stories by herself when her mom is busy with work. Together as a family, Nelly and Lydia are experiencing the power of BookSmart to foster love, learning, and friendship.

Nelly with her mother

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