Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Pratham Books is a Finalist in the Google Impact Challenge

I wrote a while ago about Pratham books and how refreshing it was to come across stories for children set in India, written in language that is suitable for children's reading levels, and told in rich color and visuals.
The books are categorized by age groups and are available in a few Indian languages in addition to English. For example, the Tell Me Now! Series, Khikkhil Tota (Hindi, Marathi and Kannada), a series called Primers are all recommended for 3-6 year olds. Books such as Hum Sab Prani, Paheliyaan, Out and About with Ajja (available in Hindi, English, Marathi, Kannada, Urdu and Gujarati), Wild and Wacky Animal Tales (available in Hindi, English, Marathi, Kannada, Urdu and Gujarati) are recommended for 6-9 year olds and The Quirquincho and The Fox, The Magic Powder, Ganga ki Lehrein (English, Hindi, Marathi and Kannada), a set of short stories in Hindi, Marathi and Kannada are all aimed at 10-14 year olds.

The books are printed on glossy, high-quality paper and book lengths range from about 15 pages to about 30 pages each. The color and the quality of the illustrations are excellent, as is the print. The type face is large and spaced so children can follow the words easily. The books are priced from Rs. 5 each (the Tell Me Now! Series) to about Rs. 25 each, and can be ordered online from Read India Books' website.
Now Pratham Books is up for the Google Impact Challenge (GIC) Award. From the GIC blog:
Nearly 50% of Indian 5th graders currently read at a 2nd grade level. This is due in part to a scarcity of books, and to a lack of reading material available in their language.

With a Global Impact Award, Pratham Books will provide kids with easy access to language-appropriate reading materials by building a collaborative, open platform that lets people share, translate and create children’s e-books. Over the next three years, this project will create 20,000 new e-books in a minimum of 25 languages and enable 200 million total book reads.
 
This is an amazing project. The joy children feel at being able to read stories in contexts that are familiar to them, in their own language, is tremendous. What could be more gratifying than watching children lose themselves in a story?

You can vote for them on the GIC website. Please do.


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