Blog posts

17 March 2022

2021 awards and milestones celebrating early literacy achievements

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.

Once again, we’ve put together a list of the notable achievements that have come to light this year. If you can think of anything or anyone we’ve missed, please let us know in the comments below.

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01 February 2022

Making reading aloud together part of our lives in 2022

First, children learn to read. Once they have worked through this important series of milestones, they start reading to learn. Somewhere, in between, they should also be encouraged to read for pleasure. That’s your job! Whether you’re the parent, guardian, aunt or uncle, librarian or teacher in a child’s life, you can also be their greatest reading influencer. One of the most effective ways of doing this is reading aloud to a child. Aside from learning to read, which should happen along the way, your goal with reading aloud is to get a child to read because they want to and not because they have to. Seeing them reading of their own free will and looking forward to immersing themselves in a good book is a huge win.
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22 September 2021

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

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.


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24 May 2021

9 reasons you should get a copy of the first ever N/uu language children’s book, Tortoise and Ostrich

Award winning author and translator, and Managing Editor at Puku Children’s Literature Foundation, Lorato Trok chatted to us before the launch about the the making of the book. She has been a champion of this project from the get go, getting behind the idea after encouraging Ouma Katrina to attend a My Language, My Heritage writing workshop hosted in the Northern Cape a few years ago, and then getting to know her on a personal level.
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19 February 2021

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

Despite the availability of these resources, we need more storybooks in local languages to ensure all children can learn to read in their mother tongue, identify with characters that look and 'sound' just like them, and develop a love of reading. Kirsty von Gogh and Lisbeth Levey have written a paper called 'African children deserve stories about themselves' exploring the intersecting roles of African authors, illustrators, communities, and languages in story creation, download and read the paper here.
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09 December 2020

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.

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27 November 2020

Ubongo embraces open licensing to make its learning materials even more accessible to African children

Ubongo co-founder, Nisha Ligon, describes this non-profit social enterprise as the world’s biggest classroom, and with a reach to 17 million learners across sub-Saharan Africa, she’s not wrong. Although Ubongo content is aimed at African children, it is equally relevant to anyone interested in high-quality, multicultural, and entertaining educational resources for children.

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