Monday, April 23, 2018

Pratham Books is Hiring : Junior Development Manager

Pratham Books is looking for a Junior Development Manager to join our team in Bengaluru. 

The Organisation:
Pratham Books ( is a not-for-profit children's book publisher that was set up in
2004 to publish good quality, affordable books in many Indian languages. Our mission is to see ‘a book in every child’s hand’ and we have spread the joy of reading to millions of children in India. As a publisher serving every child in India, Pratham Books has always pushed the boundaries when it comes to exploring innovative ways in which to create access to joyful stories and have been fortunate in finding partners to collaborate with who share this vision.

Ilustration by Nirzara Verulkar, from the book ´Maths at the Mela´
The Role
Pratham Books currently has multiple projects which are supported by various donors, for content development and dissemination. The role would involve supporting the development team to nurture and grow donor relationships, project co-ordination, anchoring content dissemination, and support reporting and documentation.

  • Help identify and qualify leads from non profits, foundations and CSR divisions of companies to create and maintain a robust database of potential donors
  • Market research and analysis to identify opportunities for growing the donor base and funds generated
Programme Co ordination
  • Co-ordination among teams for various projects
  • Ensuring adherence of project modules to timelines
  • Ensuring project requirements for external resources such as interns or researchers are met in a timely manner
Anchor content dissemination
  • Anchor dissemination of content in print and digital formats for grant based commitments
  • For print books, streamline processes to identify beneficiaries of classroom libraries, aligned with the requirements of the donors.
  • Co-ordinate with warehouse and CRM teams to ensure timely dispatch of the libraries.
  • For digital books, ensure books are published on the online StoryWeaver platform within the timelines committed
Support documentation and reporting

  • Streamline reporting processes and ensure deadlines are communicated to project teams
  • Co-ordinating with teams to ensure timely submission of individual components of project reports
This is a full-time position based in Bangalore, and would report to the Development Manager. 

Who should apply?

Candidates who:
1. Have 3-5 years experience
2. Can ideally start from 1st May 2018 onwards
3. Are committed and meet deadlines consistently
4. Are self-starters, enthusiastic and have good people skills
5. Have basic computer skills – Word, XL, PPT
6. Have a good working knowledge of English and Hindi. Knowledge of Kannada would be a bonus.

Please send your resume to anuradha(at)prathambooks(dot)org with 'Junior Development Manager’ in the subject line of the email.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Reading in Majuli

Earlier this month, you read about the library love we were receiving in Lucknow. We travel to Majuli in Assam to find out what kids are reading there.

The context : Last year, several organizations across India applied to receive our STEM library kit grant. This library grant was supported by Oracle. Selected schools/organizations received a STEM classroom library kit. The kit is a wall-mounted modular library unit that can be put up in any classroom or library. It consists of 100+ books, primarily in STEM subjects. The books cover a diverse range of topics in Maths, Science, Technology, Environment, and Emotional intelligence.

About the school : Majuli Island Hummingbird School, Kulamua, is a primary school providing education to around 110 students in rural Assam. The school is located in Majuli island that is surrounded by Brahmaputra. Floods are an every year occurrence and developmental activities even if initiated don’t last long. Urged by villagers from more backward villages to open a school, Bipin Dhane, now its Principal, started Hummingbird School on 16 January 2017. Thirteen villages from the area came together to help in every possible way. The school land has been donated by a local villager with a simple request to open a good school. (via the school website)

Bipin sent us a short note along with the following pictures of kids reading our books :
The books have brought a positive impact on the children. They can't wait to enter the library and go through all the books. We use it as a reward system if they behave properly they get to read in the library and that has brought about a change in the student behavior. Before we had books but they were not suitable for children and children lost interest but with Pratham Books' books they want to read and go through as many books as possible. Even teachers use this books in class and have observed a positive impact on the the student performance.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

StoryWeaver Selected as Finalist for the WISE Awards 2018

We are delighted to share that Pratham Books’ StoryWeaver has been selected as a finalist for the WISE Awards 2018.

StoryWeaver, an initiative of Pratham Books, is among 12 finalists chosen by the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) for their innovative and impactful approaches to today’s most urgent education challenges

Each year, the WISE Awards recognize and promote innovative projects from around thenworld that are addressing global educational challenges.

StoryWeaver is an innovative digital platform which harnesses the power of technology, open licensing and collaboration to address the global scarcity of books for children in mother tongue languages. StoryWeaver also allows for content to be translated and versioned for localized needs. This responsive platform has published over 7500 story books available in 109 languages, making knowledge accessible to children and educators beyond global access barriers.

Suzanne Singh, Chairperson of Pratham Books, said StoryWeaver’svision is to massively scale the creation and distribution of reading resources for children in mother tongue languages. Our endeavor is to address the global scarcity of books for children and arm every child with the power of knowledge and opportunity. By providing access to thousands of storybooks, the platform has enabled educators to make classrooms more engaging, libraries more diverse and most importantly, make learning fun for children. With StoryWeaver, we have opened up a new pathway to nurture a generation of readers”.

Stavros N. Yiannouka, CEO of WISE, said: “We congratulate StoryWeaver for making it to the finalist stage. Each of the 2018 WISE Awards finalists has constructed an effective, tested solution to a global educational challenge. Whether it’s ensuring fundamental education for refugees or creating the next generation of empathetic and conscious leaders, each project is already transforming lives, and provides an inspirational model for others to adopt. This is vital to our mission at WISE, which centers around collaboration”.
The 12 projects come from eleven countries and were shortlisted for their innovative solutions to education challenges and their positive social impact. The awards finalists were picked from a pool of 413 projects, and evaluated according to strict criteria. They must be successful, innovative education projects that have already demonstrated a transformative impact on individuals, communities, and society. They must be financially stable, have a clear development plan and be scalable and replicable.

For further information, visit awards.


About the WISE Awards: 
Each year, the WISE Awards recognize and promote six successful innovative projects that are addressing global educational challenges. Since 2009, WISE has received more than 3,200 applications from over 150 countries. Up until now, 54 projects have won the WISE Awards, from a wide variety of sectors and locations for their innovative character, their positive contribution and their potential for scalability and adaptability. These projects represent a growing resource of expertise and sound educational practice. Year by year, WISE is building a community of educational innovators which offers a fertile environment for groundbreaking collaborations. Today the WISE Awards network comprises pioneering projects that are helping bring real change to societies and communities.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Library Love in Lucknow!

Look what popped into our inbox the other day! Our STEM libraries getting a whole lot of love in Lucknow. Last year, several organizations across India applied to receive our STEM library kit grant. Sarthak Foundation was one of these organizations. Sarthak's vision is to add significance to the lives of the underprivileged children by providing quality education. The Sarthak team sent us these pictures of the latest library installed in their Ismailganj Study Centre, Lucknow. This centre caters to the rag picker community they work with.

What is a STEM Classroom Library Kit?

The kit is a wall-mounted modular library unit that can be put up in any classroom or library. It consists of 100+ books, primarily in STEM subjects. The books cover a diverse range of topics in Maths, Science, Technology, Environment, and Emotional intelligence. Some of our colourful books are: How Far is Far (estimation of distances), I Spy (subtraction), Bonda and Devi (robots), Ammachi’s Amazing Machines (simple machines and their use), AutumnMonsoonSpringSummer and Winter (seasons of India), Up World, Down World (biodiversity of canopy forests), A Cloud of Trash (Cleanliness), A Helping Hand (inclusivity and accepting differences), Reethi and Mithu, Angry Akku (handling emotions).

This library grant has been supported by Oracle.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Sparking Curiosity through STEM books

"The soap bubble will be pink," said a little girl at the District Girls Home as author of Why are bubbles round?Sukanya Sinha, prepared to blow a bubble with pink dye added to the soap solution.

At a Zilla Parishad School in Pune, a group of boys said, "We can make this jar invisible now!" They had just listened to author Varsha Joshi talk about her forthcoming book The Invisibility Cloak. 

"Shh.....Simmi is listening!" I said to a group of noisy kids at the Girls Home, holding up the book by Aparna Kapur. Actually, we were very quite happy that the children were so full of questions, and not sitting quietly. You see, we were on a mission to spark curiosity. And how better to do that than to have children coming out with questions about everything under the sun! Through March, we went to several schools across cities with our authors, illustrators and storytellers to introduce our new STEM books.

Earlier, at the Government Boys Home, I spoke about my forthcoming book, Sir M Visvesvaraya - The Builder of Dams, Bridges and a Nation. We were delighted to hear later that the story inspired the boys and helped spark a discussion on goal setting during their therapy session. 

"They had so many questions!" said Sudha Thilak, Tamil editor, who went with storyteller Sathyanarayan, to Chudar Education Centre. She also went to other centres in Chennai with the help of Pratham and Teach for India fellows and shared many of our new books, including Maths at the Mela.

Author of The Drawing Game and Where is Nandini?, Anitha Murthy, shared her stories with little ones at Shishu Mandira, Bengaluru.

In Guwahati, Yasaswini Sampathkumar author of forthcoming book How heavy is air? had answers for this question: "Why is Bimla's cake so spongy?"

Srinivasan Krishnaswamy,  assistant professor at IIT Guwahati, narrated the same story in Assamese, getting the students quite interested in the chemistry behind cake-making.

Vidyun Sabhaney who illustrated '3..2..1..Blast-off! used art to explain astronomy to the students of Children organization in Delhi.

Our Kannada Editor Hema Khurshapur travelled to Shiggaon in Haveri ditrict and met governnment school teachers who were thrilled to see the STEM books. They happily read out from some books to the students. Later, the girls learnt about got immersed in the books including,  Telephones: From Bell to Cell.

Dr. Shivani Kanodia used storytelling, songs and activities to introduce the books  Bin Aahat Sunne Pippu (Pispsqueak Hears Echoes) and Divya Ne Banaya Naksha (Divya Draws a Map) at The Community Library Project, Delhi.

At Chaitanya English Medium School, students had a cool time with Niloufer Wadia, illustrator of the book Let's Make Some Lime Juice and Saee Keskar, who translated it into Marathi.

The exciting world of tomorrow is closely linked to the sometimes tough world of having to learn abstract concepts of maths and science today. Could colourful, fun books help children to be ready to learn these concepts? We strongly believe so, and so we've been creating cheerful books on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

This year's list of 25 STEM books was made possible through a Cisco grant. The set includes picture books on sound, astronomy, driverless cars, kitchen science, and many more themes.  We are grateful to our authors, illustrators, translators for taking our books to children in different parts of the country. 

More sessions to spark curiosity will follow, and we will keep you posted.

Friday, March 23, 2018

On the Path of Discovery

Our editors Chetana and Bhargavi recap a fun set of events we held to celebrate Wonder Why Week :

Panipuri Inside a Spaceship anyone?

Hands soar up in the air like rockets launching. We're at Bengaluru's Nehru Planetarium, it's the Saturday ahead of the National Science Day, which calls for a morning of storytelling, quizzing and sending rockets up into the air.

Bhavna Vyas, a storyteller and illustrator with Pratham Books' titles (among others) to her name, has the children's attention. She has told them three stories -- Ammachi's Amazing Machines (an all-time favourite with the coolest granny you've ever met), Gul in Space (a sweet tale about a girl who wants to celebrate her birthday with the sun and the stars) and Panipuri Inside a Spaceship (a forthcoming title about two children who want to know what astronauts eat while on a mission).

They're having fun, but how much trivia they know about everything out there is staggering. Bhavna asks one particularly enthusiastic girl what she's going to be when she grows up: an astronaut, a scientist? The girl surprises us all with "no, a writer!" -- a breed most of us identify with.

Time for the prizes? Not yet, Bhavna has another surprise up her sleeve. She has brought paper rockets, colours and straws. Soon all the children are blowing into straws and launching the rockets they've just coloured. Wheee!

Meanwhile, every correct answer during the quiz has won the children a Pratham Books' title; we're happy that we've nearly run out of books. We're all taking something away -- the children have the books and we the realisation that there is so much out there we still know nothing about.


ಕಥಾಕೂಟ: ಗಾಳಿ ಅಳೆದು, ಹೆಜ್ಜೆ ಲೆಕ್ಕ ಮಾಡೋಣವಾ?
(Let’s weigh Air, Count Footsteps)

ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರೀಯ ವಿಜ್ಞಾನ ದಿನದ ಪ್ರಯುಕ್ತ ಪ್ರಥಮ್ ಬುಕ್ಸ್ ನ “ಗಾಳಿ ಏಕಿಷ್ಟು ಭಾರ”, “ನಂದಿನಿಎಲ್ಲಿದ್ದಾಳೆ” ಎಂಬ ಕಥೆಗಳನ್ನು ಓಕಳಿಪುರದ ಸರಕಾರಿ ಕನ್ನಡ ಬಾಲಕಿಯರ ಹಿರಿಯ ಪ್ರಾಥಮಿಕ ಶಾಲೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಪ್ರಸ್ತುತಪಡಿಸಲಾಯಿತು. ಗಾಳಿಗೆ ಭಾರ ಇದೆಯಾ? ಇದ್ದರೆ ಎಷ್ಟು? ತೂಕ ಮಾಡೋಕೆ ಆಗುತ್ತಾ? ಪ್ರಯೋಗ ಮಾಡಿ ನೋಡೋಣವಾ? ಈ ಕೌತುಕದ ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆಗಳಿಗೆಲ್ಲಾ ಮಕ್ಕಳು ಕಣ್ಣರಳಿಸಿ ನೋಡುತ್ತಿದ್ದರು.

ವಿಜ್ಞಾನ, ಗಣಿತ ವಿಷಯಗಳನ್ನು ಕ್ಲಾಸಲ್ಲಿ ಕೇಳಿ, ಬರೆದು ಮುಗಿಸಿದರೆ ಒಂದೆರಡು ಅಂಕ ಹೆಚ್ಚು, ಕಡಿಮೆ ಬರಬಹುದು ಅಷ್ಟೆ. ಆದರೆ, ಮೂಲ ಪರಿಕಲ್ಪನೆಗಳನ್ನು ತಮ್ಮದೇ ರೀತಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಅರ್ಥ ಮಾಡಿಕೊಂಡು, ಬಳಸಲು ಮಕ್ಕಳು ವಾಸ್ತವದಲ್ಲಿ ಪ್ರಯೋಗಶೀಲರಾಗಬೇಕು, ಹೆಚ್ಚೆಚ್ಚು ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆ ಗಳನ್ನು ಕೇಳುವಂತಾಗಬೇಕು. ಈ ಆಲೋಚನೆಯನ್ನು ಚಟುವಟಿಕೆಗಳ ರೂಪಕ್ಕೆ ತರುವ ಕಥೆಗಳ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಕಥಾ ಕೂಟದಲ್ಲಿ ಮಾಹಿತಿ ನೀಡಲಾಯಿತು.

ಈ ಕಥೆಗಳನ್ನು ಇಂಗ್ಲಿಷಿನಿಂದ ಕನ್ನಡಕ್ಕೆ ಅನುವಾದಿಸಿರುವ ವಿಜ್ಞಾನ ಸಂವಹನಕಾರ, ಸಂಪ ನ್ಮೂಲ ವ್ಯಕ್ತಿ ಕೊಳ್ಳೇಗಾಲ ಶರ್ಮ ಮಕ್ಕಳೊಂದಿಗೆ ಮಗುವೇ ಆಗಿ ಬೆರೆತು ಕಥೆ ಹೇಳಿದರು. ದಿನ ನಿತ್ಯದ ಸಾಮಾನ್ಯ ವಿಷಯಗಳನ್ನೇ ಇಟ್ಟುಕೊಂಡು, ಸರಳ ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆಗಳನ್ನು ಕೇಳುತ್ತಾ ಮಕ್ಕಳ ಕುತೂಹಲ ತಣಿಸಿದರು.

ಬಣ್ಣ-ಬಣ್ಣದ ಬಲೂನುಗಳನ್ನು ಊದುತ್ತಾ, ಎಳನೀರು ಕುಡಿಯುವ ಪ್ಲಾಸ್ಟಿಕ್ ಕೊಳವೆಗಳನ್ನು ಆಯತಾಕಾರದಲ್ಲಿ ಜೋಡಿಸುತ್ತಾ ಮಕ್ಕಳು ಸಂತಸಪಟ್ಟರು.

ಸರಕಾರಿ ಬಾಲಕರ ಪ್ರಾಥಮಿಕ ಶಾಲೆ, ಆರ್.ಜಿ.ಅಯ್ಯಂಗಾರ್ ಅನುದಾನಿತ ಶಾಲೆಯ 120ಕ್ಕೂ ಹೆಚ್ಚು ಮಕ್ಕಳು, ಶಿಕ್ಷಕಿ ಪುಷ್ಪಾ, ಅನುವಾದಕ ಮಾಧವ್ ಐತಾಳ್, ಪ್ರಥಮ್ ಬುಕ್ಸ್ ನ ಹಿರಿಯ ಸಂಪಾದಕಿ ಮಾಲಾ ಕುಮಾರ್, ಕನ್ನಡ ವಿಭಾಗದ ಹೇಮಾ ಡಿ.ಖುರ್ಸಾಪುರ, ಭಾರ್ಗವಿ, ಸಮನ್ವಯಕಾರ ಕಾಶಿ ಇದ್ದರು.

“ಗಾಳಿ ಏಕಿಷ್ಟು ಭಾರ” ಕಥೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಗಾಳಿಯ ಸಾಂದ್ರತೆಯನ್ನು ಲಕ್ಷ್ಮೀ ಮತ್ತು ಸ್ನೇಹಿತರು ಕಂಡು ಕೊಂಡಿದ್ದು ಹೇಗೆ ಎಂದು ತಿಳಿಯಿರಿ. ತರಕಾರಿಗಳ ಭಾರಕ್ಕಿಂತ ಬಲೂನಿನ ಭಾರ ಹೆಚ್ಚೇ, ಆದರೂ ಹಗುರ ಹೇಗೆ? ಭಾರವಿದ್ದರೂ ತಕಡಿಯ ಮೇಲೆ ಬಲೂನುಗಳನ್ನಿಟ್ಟರೆ ತೂಕದ ಸೂಚಿ ಆಚೀಚೆ ಅಲುಗಾಡುವುದಿಲ್ಲ ಏಕೆ? ಎಂಬಂತಹ ಸರಳ, ಕೌತುಕದ ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆಗಳು ಮೂಡುತ್ತವೆ.

ಇನ್ನು, ವರ್ಗೀಕರಣದ ಕಲ್ಪನೆಯನ್ನೇ ಮೂಲ ವಸ್ತುವಾಗಿಸಿ ಬರೆದಿರುವ “ನಂದಿನಿ ಎಲ್ಲಿದ್ದಾಳೆ” ಕಥೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಹೆಜ್ಜೆ ಗುರುತುಗಳ ಗಾತ್ರವನ್ನು ಗುರುತಿಸುತ್ತಾ ಮಕ್ಕಳು ಕಲಿಯಬಹುದು.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Event: Water Stories

(Click on the image for a larger view)
Folks in Bengaluru : We have something brewing this weekend! Celebrate World Water Day with us.

Pratham Books and Storipur present 'Water Stories'. Join us for an interactive storytelling session with Mala Kumar (Pratham Books) and Priya Muthukumar (Storipur) followed by a water quiz by Maya Kilpadi (Eartha)

Date : 25th March, 2018
Time : 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Venue : Atta Galatta, 134, KHB Colony, 5th Block, Koramangala, Bengaluru 95.

Free entry. Ideal for 3 year olds and above.

See you there!