When I first started working with the Literate Earth Project, we had nothing but some books and a dream. Four years later, we have nine fully-functioning school libraries with many more to come.
Our last trip to Uganda truly helped to strengthen our resolve as we saw first-hand the true good that can come from just a single book. During the trip, our team paid a visit to schools where Literate Earth Project libraries had been open for just under a year. At first we weren’t sure what to expect, but after just five minutes at a campus, the changes we saw were extraordinary. Students who just a year earlier could barely read a word of English were eager to tell me about all of the books they had finished in the time since they had seen me last. They were bursting with with stories about everything from flowers to werewolves - spouting off facts from the Guinness Book of World Records and quoting spells from Harry Potter.
Not only had their academics and reading skills improved, these students had turned into confident, independent thinkers. They were proud of their accomplishments and showed a true love of reading. To this day, seeing the excitement on their faces as they read their favorite book has been my most rewarding moment with the Literate Earth Project.
Looking into the future, we plan to take these observations and collect concrete data on how exactly Literate Earth Project libraries are making an impact at the schools we work with. To do this, we’ll be conducting Early Grades Reading Assessments (EGRA) at schools with and without a Literate Earth Project library. These assessments are designed to measure basic literacy skills in the primary grades and have been used in over 30 countries worldwide. It is our hope that we can use data from the EGRAs to show that our organization’s model is both sustainable and effective, thus allowing us to open libraries on a larger scale.
It’s an exciting time to become a part of the Literate Earth Project as we continue to expand our reach in Uganda, and we hope you’ll join us in whatever way you can.
- Alexandria Moore, Chief Operating Officer, the Literate Earth Project