Brenda Erlinger, DIL’s Program Development Director, oversees the Libraries Program. She holds an M.A. in International Development from the George Washington University and a teaching credential.
Meeting the Materials Challenge in Rural Pakistan to Attain Significant Growth in Reading and Transform Live
Developments in Literacy (DIL) has been operating schools serving rural communities across Pakistan for 20+ years. We have created and implemented a holistic literacy program to support reading development for hundreds of thousands of children, especially girls. In this presentation, we will share practical ways we’ve supported our students and teachers with limited resources, using locally available materials and delivery methods.
When DIL started work nearly 15 years ago on literacy instruction in our 136 schools, the goal was simply to provide an alternative to rote learning. Our work centered on enhancing the government curriculum by providing teacher’s guides to support an activity-based teaching approach, with activities that would engage the students and encourage deeper and more meaning full earning. We soon learned that to achieve this, we needed the right materials, in addition to the right lesson plans. Working closely with our teachers, staff and students through out the process, we quickly added phonics audio CDs to a id in pronunciation, wrote and illustrated story books that our students would find relatable and interesting and printed work books for additional practice.
The challenge we faced was how to get plentiful, high quality reading materials in our students’ hands to support what they were learning in the class room and spark interest in reading.
To integrate literacy skills taught in the class room, we quickly recognized the need for children need to spend time reading books suited to their various
ability levels, and DIL’s Libraries and Reading Program was developed to provide such opportunities. The Program accelerates children’s reading development by providing time for children to read and enjoy books in the library and after school.
As an integral part of a quality education at our schools, DIL’s Libraries and Reading Program is designed to ignite the internal motivation in children and provide the books they need in a child-friendly setting. Since 2015, DIL has utilized tablets equipped with high quality levelled reading material as a way of increasing library holdings at schools with limited library space.
DIL’s holistic approach has resulted in significant increase in students’ reading skills as measured by Early Grade Reading Assessments.