Thursday, May 18, 2017

Develop Your Child's Reading "Muscles"

Shradha has just started reading. But she doesn't have many books to read (and hardly any in her own language). With the summer holidays here, she may forget what she painstakingly learnt this year. But if the local resource centre had books she could borrow, stories she could listen to... would that help her enjoy her holidays as well as retain what she learnt? 

The example above is a reality faced by children across the world. How can a child overcome this problem?

Patty Foster shares a simple (and obvious) solution in the Times-Republican :
While the notion of a summer slide might conjure up images of brightly colored playgrounds with curvy tubed slides, this “summer slide” actually refers to the loss of academic gains made during the previous school year. Sadly, the most im
pacted students tend to be those from low income families; those that are already at a disadvantage when it comes to achieving their full potential.

According to education expert Richard Allington, summer slide accounts for as much as 85 percent of the reading achievement gap between lower income students and their middle to upper income peers. Additionally, teachers may spend more time at the beginning of the school year re-teaching previously covered material and strategies that were forgotten or under used over the summer.

While it may seem like a complex problem, the solution to summer slide is surprisingly simple. Read! Children of all ages need to read over the summer. There is no need for special programs, workbooks, or fancy flashcards. A library card with regular trips to the colorful shelves of the public library can do the trick.

This theory makes sense. Think of the world’s great athletes or musicians. They spend countless hours practicing their sport or instrument. If they were to take a few months off, they too would fall behind their peers. The same is true for reading. Children must consistently use their reading “muscles” over the summer to keep them in shape. Additionally, spending time listening to your child read as well as talking about what they are reading has an impact on comprehension and their motivation to read. Quick book chats can make all the difference in sustaining a summer of reading.
Read the entire article.

Thursday, May 11, 2017


If there is one thing you need to watch today, let it be this story. A reflection on raising children, educating students and more. "Alike" is an animated short film directed by Daniel Martínez Lara & Rafa Cano Méndez.

Synopsis : In a busy life, Copi is a father who tries to teach the right way to his son, Paste. But... what is the correct path?

We found out about this movie in the State of the Commons report.  The report states 'Openly developed and licensed, award-winning short film “Alike” is viewed on Vimeo more than 1.5 million times'. At the time of viewing this video, it has been viewed 3.4 million times. Yay for Creative Commons and the resources we get to see because of it. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Support the The Kids’ Sustainable School Challenge

In the month of March, we heard about the The Kids' Sustainable School Challenge being run by the Going to School team. The challenge is the first government-school sustainable enterprise challenge for kids. Students were asked, “How would you change your school, if you could?”, and 10,000 of them responded with their ideas of change.

“It is the first government-school kids sustainable enterprise challenge. The project gives kids in Class IX government schools in Bihar a chance to research, write, think-through, design, and finally action sustainable-enterprise ideas in their schools,” says Lisa Heydlauff, Founder and Director of Going to School.

The challenge ran directly through the 1,500 government secondary schools that Going to School works in. Every kid that wanted to be a part of the programme received an eight-step Kids B plan notebook to complete. When kids were finished with their plans, they sent them to the Going to School office in Delhi.

101 kids’ plans were selected according to whether the ideas were well-researched, sustainable, green, inclusive, used clean energy, and solved a big problem that would change their school for everyone. These  kids then pitched their business ideas at the Pitch It event held on 23rd April, 2017 in Nalanda, Bihar.

Read more about the project here.

50 out of 100 schools have received grants to action the kids' plans. Very excitingly, 50 schools also have a chance to win their own Library Kits from Pratham Books. And for this, Going to School needs your help. 
"The stories created by Pratham Books are set in environments that kids are familiar with, cover a range of genres, and are beautifully illustrated, making books all the more fun to read. If our young entrepreneurs have to keep the momentum going, it will become imperative that they read as much as possible, to expand their mind and know that they can achieve anything, take on any problem, and solve them,” says Lisa."
21 libraries have already been funded. Any amount donated helps the chools get closer to owning their own library.

Help unlock a library and set little readers on a reading journey by donating a book

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Event : Book Exhibition at Indus Early Learning Centre

Folks in Bengaluru - mark your calendar and head to the StoryTelling Festival happening at Indus Early Learning Centre this weekend. Choose from a variety of books and find your perfect picks for the summer vacation!

Illustration : Pratyush Gupta
Date : 13th May, 2017
Time : 10 am - 14:30 pm
Venue :  Indus Early Learning Centre, RMV, No. 36, Kalpana Chawla Road, RMV 2nd Stage, Bengaluru

For registrations, call 9739200007, 9739300007

Click here for more details about the event.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Remembering Justice Leila Seth

The Pratham Books team is saddened to hear about Justice Leila Seth's demise. Our editor, Mala Kumar, shares a few memories of how we got to work with this inspiring woman.
In 2010, when Puffin Books launched Justice Leila Seth's book 'We, the Children: The Preamble to Our Constitution', I had the good fortune to meet her for the first time. When she heard that I was with Pratham Books, she mentioned that we were doing a good job by publishing books in many Indian languages. "I wish this book could reach every child of India. Would Pratham Books want to publish it in other languages?". Thanks to the efforts of her Penguin editor Sudeshna Shome Ghosh, Pratham Books was able to get the book translated into many languages. My colleague Manisha Chaudhry spent many hours with Justice Leila Seth, who was very eager to see at least the Hindi translation.  
In 2014, when the people at Bangalore Literature Festival had invited Justice Leila Seth to be a guest at the fest, she promptly called us to say she would love to make use of her visit to Bangalore to interact with children. At the venue, Justice Leila Seth was absolutely delightful. "Do you know how old I am?" she asked the children. She spoke to the children in an even tone, answering all their questions patiently and clearly.  
"I think I like the role of a grandmother quite a lot," she said when I asked her which of her roles she liked, "it made me want to write for children." 
For that, and for her advice to the children of India, we are grateful to Justice Leila Seth.

Watch :  Understanding the Constitution with Justice Leila Seth
Read about Justice Leila's session on the constitution.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Call for Applications : Publishing Next Industry Awards

The applications for the Publishing Next Industry Awards is now open.

Via Publishing Next

The Publishing Next Industry Awards were instituted in 2014 to reward the talent, initiative, entrepreneurial zeal and untiring efforts of publishers – big, small, independent – that create books. Established under the aegis of the neutral platform of the Publishing Next Conference, the awards seek to recognize innovation and leadership of publishing professionals and others in the book trade.

The Publishing Next Industry Awards 2017 will be presented in the following categories:
Printed Children’s Book of the Year (English)
Printed Children’s Book of the Year (Indian Language)
Printed Book of the Year (English)
Printed Book of the Year (Indian Language)
Printed Illustrated Book of the Year (Coffee Table Books)
Book Cover of the Year
Library of the Year
Bookstore of the Year
Editor of the Year
Rights Professional of the Year
Publisher of the Year (English, General)
Publisher of the Year (Academic)
Publisher of the Year (Children’s Literature)
Publisher of the Year (Indian Languages)

An applicant can apply for more than one category. The final selection of shortlisted applicants will be based solely on information furnished by the applicant. Applicants are requested to be as clear, concise and straight-to-the-point as possible.

Key Dates to remember:
Open for submission of entries: 17th April 2017
Entry deadline: 30th June 2017

Click for more details about the award.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Impact Story : Books in Vizianagram

How many people does it take to build a library? In the case of this rural government school, it needed just one person - Satish Kumar Moida. Satish's father is a government school teacher and Satish decided to fundraise for books for his father's school by using the Donate-a-Book platform.

The month long campaign run by Satish resulted in the school receiving 375 books. Satish shares more details about the books they received :

How the books are being used :
We had these books in a classroom and asked the students to read. After reading, they would explain what they understood after reading the book.  Teachers have also allocated 1 period for reading every day and are also conducting a reading competition. We have observed a change in the children and their interest towards reading and writing. They are asked to come on stage and explain the story. By this they are improving their body language and narrating skillls

The kids are feeling very happy and are very excited to tell the story and competition between them and asking doubts has also increased.

Experience on Donate-a-Book:

I feel it is very useful for rural villages schools and for increasing literacy rate .


But Satish isn't stopping by setting up just one library. He is on his way to starting another rural library. Support this dream by donating a book

Donate-a-Book is an initiative by Pratham Books to help bridge the gap between those who want to help children read and those who need books for children. Together we will build a Reading India by making storybooks accessible to thousands of children and spread the joy of reading.