Our model

In its short history, Ethiopia Reads has developed from an impassioned idea to bring books and literacy to children throughout Ethiopia to a 21st century model of development – a partner with the Ethiopian Ministry of Education and other organizations to create an educational system with reach throughout the county. Ethiopia Reads’ impact has grown from benefitting individual children to empowering communities to building educational capacity system-wide at the national level.

Here is a brief look at our journey – how the focus of our efforts has broadened, our ability to create real impact has deepened, our hopes for a brighter future for Ethiopian children grows.

Original area of focus: creating physical resources

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    schools, community reading spaces, and libraries within schools

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    books for classrooms and reading paces

Second area of focus: providing professional training

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    training curriculum: using best practices, research-informed, culturally-relevant methods and materials

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    of librarians, teachers and library managers in-country

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    the curriculum to address individual needs of teachers and librarians

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    teachers/librarians incorporate additional materials and the teaching of mother tongue and English literacy

Third level of focus for strategic impact: building a culture of literacy

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    with the Ethiopian Government’s Ministry of Education, strengthening national efforts to increase literacy and develop a literacy culture

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    programs to the reach of resources

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    books to the most remote areas by trained facilitators using donkeys and horses

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    book-centered learning programs

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    non-formal educational models to address local village strictures and embed education into village life and culture; advocating for education of girls

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    Programs for youth in cities: athletics and academics

Becoming central to literacy projects and programs across the country

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    with USAID, Save the Children International, and other non-governmental organizations to drive educational, literacy and professional development projects

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    Aligning and strengthening...

    efforts of other USAID grant seekers, providing knowledge and high-quality support

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    as an important secondary and implementing partner for other programs desiring to help in Ethiopia

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    to leverage the work of other community efforts, helping local organizations emerge and generate a deeper culture of learning

Next level of focus for strategic impact: community empowerment and ownership

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    Local staff

    Schools, libraries and programs are 100% staffed by Ethiopians who identify needs and lead efforts to address them

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    Communities in mind

    Schools and libraries are a community resource, providing access for other community groups and initiatives

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    Population empowerment

    Empowering families and communities, who have become literacy advocates and agents of change

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    Transferring ownership

    Many libraries established by Ethiopia Reads are turned over to ongoing ownership by local government, communities or NGO partners, with continued training and support from Ethiopia Reads


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    Quality practices

    Assuring quality practices and programming through evaluation of pedagogical practice, and professional development

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    Addressing local needs

    Assuring that local needs drive programming through evaluation of community access to school libraries