Literacy is a fundamental skill that serves as the foundation for an individual’s future learning and, collectively, for a country’s social and economic development.
The Latin America and Caribbean Reads Capacity Program (LRCP) increases the impact, scale, and sustainability of early grade reading interventions in the LAC region through the development of state- of-the-art knowledge resources and the provision of technical assistance to host country governments and other selected key stakeholders, to enhance efforts to boost early grade reading outcomes, particularly for disadvantaged children.
The 8-year program, implemented by AIR and Juárez and Associates and funded by USAID, achieves its goals through the implementation of the following four principal results:
- Evidence on EGL is collected, consolidated, and systematized for practical use by LAC region stakeholders.
- Up-to-date knowledge about EGL is actively disseminated to targeted audiences and stakeholders.
- Institutional capacity to implement proven approaches for improving EGL outcomes for poor and disadvantaged children is expanded; and
- Sustainable platforms are in place through which efforts to improve EGL in priority LAC countries will be continued and strengthened.
In this video, Rebecca Stone, AIR senior researcher and literacy specialist, and Josefina Vijil, early grade reading specialist with the program, talk about key findings from their work on the region’s first systematic review of the literature on early grade reading.
Marco introductorio: ¿Cómo se está formando al cuerpo docente centroamericano para enseñar la lectoescritura inicial? Aportes de una investigación regional a partir de cinco estudios de caso
(Introductory framework: How is the Central American teaching staff being trained to teach initial literacy? Regional research contributions from five case studies)
In collaboration with the Central America and Caribbean Early Literacy Network (RedLEI), AIR recently published this first-of-its-kind study in the Spanish language journal, Actualidades Investigativas en Educación, examining how pre-service teachers are trained to teach children to read at five Central American universities and whether the pre-service curricula align with the latest evidence.
In collaboration with the LRCP project, RedLEI completed a series of six online Spanish-language webinars on Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT) for higher education institutions in the LAC region. These sessions are intended to help teachers transition to a remote curriculum and ensure that learning continues during COVID-19. The series covers the following topics:
- Introduction to Emergency Remote Teaching ERT
- Curriculum selection and appropriate tools during ERT
- Communication and relationships during ERT
- Assessment and assessment tools for ERT
- Inclusivity during ERT
- ERT in practice
LRCP in Haiti
In late 2016, LRCP expanded to work in Haiti working hand-in-hand with the Haitian Ministry of Education (MENFP) and focusing on a three-pronged approach to institutional capacity building: (a) technical assistance in the development of grades 1–4 reading materials in Kreyòl and French, (b) capacity building of teachers, supervisors, and school principals on effective EGL strategies in 150 schools, and (c) research on early grade literacy issues specific to the needs of Haitian schools.
LRCP Haiti implemented its teacher training activities in collaboration with Fondation Haïtienne de L’enseignement Privé (FONHEP) and conducted EGL research with Université Quisqueya (UniQ) in Haiti. They also implemented the very first national reading conference in Haiti in 2019. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, LRCP shifted its focus in Haiti to developing distance learning materials for children to continue their literacy development at home. In April of 2021, the LRCP team delivered Kreyol language at home learning materials to over 150 schools for parents of first and second grade children to pick up. Those materials were delivered by trucks, motorcycles and even horse to ensure we reached the most remote regions.