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2021 awards and milestones celebrating early literacy achievements

Image source: Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

If anything, 2021 has been a more challenging year than 2020 for early literacy in the global South. But as with 2020, this year – with all its pandemic-related setbacks – has also seen a lot of innovation and the sharing of ideas.

NBA and AfLIA are sharing info about the creation of their course on early literacy development. Join the conversation!

Much like us at the Early Learning Resource Network, you were probably engrossed in all the World Literacy Day webinars, tweets, blog posts and project launches that flooded the social-media timelines on 8 September.

There was a lot going on in the early literacy space, including an illuminating webinar hosted by African Library and Information Associations and Institutions (AfLIA) in collaboration with Neil Butcher and Associates (NBA). If you didn’t get a chance to join on the day, you can view the recording below – it’s well worth a watch.


Share your mother tongue reading resources on International Mother Language Day 2021

International Mother Language Day 2021 infographic

Take a look at these links and discover openly licensed storybooks and reading resources that are available in some of the world's 7,000 living languages:

Celebrate world read aloud day in February, and beyond!

‘Researchers are agreed that reading aloud is the single most important activity by which parents, grandparents and caregivers can foster early brain development, lifelong learning success, reading pleasure and reading skills.’

An invested non-profit and old-school innovation join forces to educate and uplift a community in crisis

Sometimes innovation is not about the shiny new things, but rather about grasping existing opportunities to make them work for you and your community, especially when confronted with a crisis.

2020 awards and milestones moving early literacy forward and celebrating a culture of reading


It’s been an eventful year. In spite of the Pandemic, we have much to celebrate in the promotion of early literacy and a culture of reading in the global South. The awards and milestones achieved by the institutions and people listed below should be applauded, given the many challenges they faced in 2020.

So, we’ve put together a list of all the excellent happenings that we’ve noted; if anything is missing, please let us know in the comments section below.

How Soma facilitated a project where children are creating openly licensed reading material for other children

Caption: We discovered some children were good illustrators and storytellers; others were good observers. The children were improving their skills from one day to the next - Patrick Joseph Gongwe, HK Learning Centre