Our work in India
Join us to promote emergent & foundational literacy
and strengthen cultures of reading among children
both in schools and homes across India.
Our vision for India is ambitious. Not only does India have one of the highest mobile phone penetrations in the world, but the data costs are also the lowest in the world. This presents a unique opportunity to use the technology already available in people’s hands to address some of India’s biggest challenges, reaching even the most marginalized of Indians.
In the last decade, India has invested greatly in bringing free education to all children. Although it’s making progress, there is still important work to be done. On the one hand, the country has over 1.5+ million schools and boasts surprisingly high enrolment rates of 97%. On the other hand, India continues to grapple with the problem of poor learning outcomes in schools.
In fact, it has been estimated that more than half of the nation’s population lacks even basic literacy skills, with many marginalized children among the illiterate. On a global scale, 37% of the world’s illiterate people are Indian according to UNESCO.
India has a national reading crisis and young learners in India need urgent support: 46.6% of children in Grade 3 are unable to read Grade 1 level text. Helping children read begins in the home with parents reading to their young children, yet nearly 80% of Indian households have no reading materials at all (2019 Annual Status of Education Report on Early Years).
One important cause for this reading crisis is that children aren’t receiving sufficient support at an early age – when it matters most in a child’s development.
In response to this, Worldreader works in underserved communities to bring digital reading to households, daycare centres, primary schools, and even night schools. Our aim is to promote emergent & foundational literacy among young children in India and strengthen cultures of reading to children both in schools and homes.
We continue to align our efforts with India’s evolving educational objectives working closely with national and regional education bodies. We plan to expand our work across the nation and become the leading partner for pre-primary and early grade reading programs. We know that we belong to a large ecosystem of institutions that share this focus, so we look for opportunities to work together and contribute our unique expertise.
While I’m aware of the challenges that India faces, I’m extremely optimistic about the opportunity ahead and we look forward to partnering with like-minded institutions and people to support India’s young children and set them up for lifelong success.
Global Executive Member
and India Board Director,
Read to Kids India is designed to promote emergent literacy and school readiness of pre-primary children and foundational literacy among early grade children in India. The program encourages parents, teachers, and caregivers to read aloud to their children by giving families and schools access to a digital library of books via their mobile phones and tablets. The goals are two-fold. First, is a focus on behaviour change: to raise awareness of the value of reading to young children, encourage a culture of reading at the household level, and get parents reading frequently to their children. Second, is a focus on teachers: to equip and build the capacity of teachers in order for them to leverage digital reading in pre-school and early grade classrooms.
We work with the highest quality of local and international
publishing partners to bring the right books to our readers.
Together, with our partners, we’re able to
reach more and more readers every day.
Worldreader is seeking partners looking to scale their impact in India.
We welcome the opportunity to collaborate as we help
strengthen communities through digital reading.