"I never had a book before!" said one boy at the end of a book party. With your help, every child in Laos will soon own a book.
We make literacy FUN for children in Laos. We work closely with Big Brother Mouse, a Lao-based project, to publish books that get children excited about reading. Then we hold book parties in rural schools. At the end of each event, every child selects a book, nearly always the first book they ever owned. We leave more books with the school, as a mini-library.
When Big Brother Mouse published its first books in 2006, it was widely said that "Lao people don't read." That was true: There wasn't much to read, most books that existed were dull and rarely got into rural villages
Books provide many benefits: Biographies inspire us. Fairy tales entertain, and often teach moral values. History teaches us, if we'll listen. Books transmit culture, they provide information about health, they can improve job skills. Without literacy, we miss a lot.
Our first goal was to create books that children were eager to read. If children don't like to read, they won't develop a habit of reading. We succeeded, and we're continuing to publish more.
Then, we developed ways to deliver these books to children, schools, and families. Our school book parties get children excited about books. In 2013 we're starting a new program: We give 40 to 50 books to every classroom, so the teacher can provide silent reading time for students each day.
We are creating a love of reading among children. We have reached schools throughout every district of 2 provinces, and in most of a third province. With your help, we can reach the remaining 13. This means some 2 million children will not merely become able to read, but eager to read.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
The website of Big Brother Mouse.
Photos from rural school book parties in Laos
Details of the Laos Literacy Project