Tuesday, August 7, 2018

August is Inventors' Month.

At Pratham Books, we're great believers in the power of curiosity to fuel learning. That's why we leaped at the idea of celebrating August as Inventors' Month. After all, where would invention be without curiosity and exploration and experimentation?

Several years ago, we came across this Skillshare video that said it far better than mere words could.  We hope you enjoy it. As much as we hope you'll enjoy the many children's books we have about amazing inventions, and the even more amazing inventors who made them come to life. 


Each week, we'll dive into stories that describe the magical world of invention. And we hope you'll share them with your kids, your students, or even young people you know.

Like the line from the video goes: "It doesn't matter what you ask, just that you ask." It's the spirit that fuels everyday inventors of all ages.




In fact, to set the mood, just sit back and enjoy this reading of Gulli's Box of Things, by Rituparna Ghosh, of The Delhi Storytellers' Network.






Monday, August 6, 2018

Pratham Books is hiring: Partnerships Manager (North)

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. In the last three years, we have invested deeply in technology-based initiatives to further our mission. We are now looking to expand our Outreach Team to make our impact wider, and are on a lookout for a passionate individual based out of our Delhi office.

StoryWeaver is a digital platform that hosts stories in languages from India and beyond, so that every child can have an endless stream of stories in her mother tongue to read and enjoy. The stories can be read, translated, versioned or downloaded for free. All stories on the platform are openly licensed and the goal is to open source the code as well. In two years, StoryWeaver has scaled from 800 stories in 24 languages to 8500+ stories in 115 languages. We have built a robust global community that uses our content as well as contributed to creating more content on the platform.

StoryWeaver is being recognized as an emerging innovation that can transform the early literacy reader ecosystem globally. Recently, StoryWeaver was featured in the World Bank's report on 20 innovative EdTech projects from around the world, and was also the recipient of the prestigious Library of Congress Literacy Award 2017 International Prize. Our vision is for StoryWeaver to be the largest multilingual open library in the world for children by creating a collaborative publishing model that can address the scarcity of reading resources in mother tongue languages.

Job Description:

We are looking for a Partnerships Manager who can forge strategic partnerships to facilitate the use of StoryWeaver’s digital resources with organizations that have programs which promote reading and learning among children, specifically in the North and East of India.


Illustration by Delwyn Remedios
The Manager will be responsible for strategizing and executing plans to increase the user base of StoryWeaver and also provide the necessary training and support to the partner network and work closely with internal stakeholders.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Identify potential partners and strategize, design and execute plans to onboard them as StoryWeaver users.
  • Create and execute robust work plans for achieving monthly, quarterly and annual goals including specific targets.
  • Build and nurture networks of partners working in the field of Education/ with Children/ Ed-Tech.
  • Provide training and support to the partner network.
  • Provide information and feedback to the internal team based on partner feedback and essentially be a bridge between the internal and external stakeholders.
  • Help with research and documentation for impact assessment.
  • Plan, execute and own book/event specific campaigns, on-ground events and CSR volunteering activities.
  • Help build strategy for the function, contribute in new ideas for both the function and platform.

Qualifications:

  • A post-graduate degree preferably in Marketing and Management
  • 3 to 5 years' work experience in Sales, Marketing, Outreach, Partnerships or related areas
  • Experience in a programmatic function in the development sector (preference for experience in Education)

Competencies:

  • High-level communications skills: Exceptional interpersonal and verbal/ written communication skills
  • Organisation/ time management skills:  Planning, working systematically and efficiently and keeping information organized and accessible
  • Project management skills:  Multi-tasking and prioritising, planning and organizing, perseverance, working with multiple teams that are interdependent, ability to work with timelines and targets
  • Ability to gather data, analyze information, and prepare reports and documents
  • Experience in classrooms and/ or working with educational organizations

Good to Have:

  • Ability to network and make connections
  • Interest in books, education and publishing
  • Should be open to travel

Location: This role is based out of Delhi and is full-time.

Salary: Compensation will be commensurate with experience.

How to Apply:

Interested candidates are requested to send in their resume to careers@prathambooks.org with the subject line: Partnerships Manager_North and a short paragraph outlining why they are suitable for this position.

More video playlists with STEM-based stories -- in languages!

Last week, we'd shared 20 curated STEM-themed stories on subjects ranging from mathematics, and visits to the mela, as well as the ways in which smell travels, or even sound.

Now we have two playlists each, in four more languages, to make your classroom or reading session much more engaging.


Storybook Playlist on STEM themes: Levels 1 & 2 (Hindi)


Storybook Playlist on STEM themes: Levels 3 & 4 (Hindi)


Storybook Playlist on STEM themes: Levels 1 & 2 (Kannada)


Storybook Playlist on STEM themes: Levels 3 & 4 (Kannada)


Storybook Playlist on STEM themes: Levels 1 & 2 (Marathi)


Storybook Playlist on STEM themes: Levels 3 & 4 (Marathi)


Storybook Playlist on STEM themes: Levels 1 & 2 (Tamil)


Storybook Playlist on STEM themes: Levels 3 & 4 (Tamil)

There's a fair amount of evidence outlining the benefits of video in the classroom -- see Khan Academy's Sal Khan TED talk about the how carefully structured educational videos can reinvent the traditional classroom script.

Friday, August 3, 2018

One Day, One Story is back!


We’re counting down to this year’s edition of One Day, One Story, and we really hope you’ll join us!

Every year, Pratham Books celebrates International Literacy Day (September 8, in case you’ve forgotten) with story reading sessions for children across India. Last year, 5700+ Champions took the story of Kottavi Raja and his Sleepy Kingdom to thousands of children – conducting 6300+ storytelling sessions in 26 languages, in 25 states and 3 union territories in India. As well as 13 other countries. Will you be a Champion this year?

WATCH THE VIDEO


Why One Day, One Story?
To help children discover the joy of stories, and fall in love with reading. On September 8, Pratham Books Champions all over India will use one book to conduct reading sessions for children in their communities. All sessions are conducted free of cost, and focus on children from under-served communities.

What’s the story?
This year, Season 7 of One Day, One Story will feature A Cloud of Trash, written by Karanjeet Kaur, and illustrated by Bhavana Vyas Vipparthi. It’s a story about a little girl called Cheekoo, who has a cloud of trash hanging over her head. This makes her very, very unhappy, and as we follow her story, we learn a little more about trash, and about keeping our surroundings clean.


The story works well for children across different age and reading levels, and introduces themes like waste management, littering, reuse and recycling, and social responsibility. You could enact it, if you like, or get children to imagine what a cloud of trash could look like. We would love for you to use this story in creative ways – read, narrate, enact… it’s your session to conduct.

Sounds interesting? Mark your calendar for September 8, and join thousands of other Champions sharing their love for reading with the children who need it the most.

*Registrations to receive a hard copy of the book end on August 31, but we’ll be happy to mail you an e-copy!

How do you become a Champion?
You sign up! We'llsend you a copy of the book in the language of your choice, and a banner. You are free to choose the place and time you want to conduct the session. You can also conduct other activities that you think may go with the theme of the book.

After the session, please send us a short write-up with some photos from the event so that we can feature it here.

Note:
  • For logistical reasons, we will not be able to ship books to international destinations, but we will share an e-copy instead.
  • There are a limited number of printed books available, so if we run out of books by the time you register, we will send you an e-copy of the book.

If you have any queries, please mail champions(at)prathambooks(dot)org BEFORE you fill in the form.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will the book be sent for free or will I have to pay for it?
The book will be sent to you for free (till stocks last).

2. Do I have to find the venue?
Yes. Identify places where you can conduct this event in your city - a government school, an NGO, a library, a bookstore, a park, a train, your building... any place where regular children visit. Approach the organisation and explain the concept to them. Most of them will be happy to host you.

3. This is the first time I am conducting an event. How should I prepare for it?
Read the book a few times. If you are reading to a younger age group, see how you can tell the story without actually reading from the book (to retain their attention). Think of activities to engage the children after the storytelling. Alternatively, read a few more stories around the same theme. You’ll find great suggestions here.

4. Can I conduct multiple events?
Oh, yes, you can! The aim is to reach as many kids as possible. We've had several Champions conduct 2-3 sessions on the main day, and then go on to conduct sessions on a following day, if it’s a weekend.

5. Should I document the event?
We expect all our Champions to send us some documentation about the event conducted by them. You can send us videos, pictures, a write-up – just share with us the “real impact” you’ve helped make.

6. I really want to conduct a session but I am not free on September 8? What should I do?
The aim of One Day, One Story is to spread the joy of stories. Most people conduct the session on the chosen date. But just in case you are unable to, you can still conduct it on a day close to the chosen date. Because children getting to listen to a story is much more important than a date, right?

Sounds like something you want to do? Sign up here.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Ready to watch some of our favourite stories?

Best. News. Ever. Some of our favourite stories based on STEM subjects at different reading levels are now ready to enjoy in audio-visual form. From how sound travels, to the ways fractions can help you make lime juice, Pratham Books has lined up 20 of our much-loved titles for children to enjoy as videos.

We've even grouped them into reading level-appropriate playlists that can be watched in classrooms, reading groups, or even just at home.


Storybook Playlist on STEM themes: Levels 1 & 2 (English)

Storybook Playlist on STEM themes: Levels 3 & 4 (English)

Soon, we’ll have them in Hindi, Marathi, Kannada, and Tamil, too. For now, though… 3... 2... 1... blast-off!


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Thank You for #TheBookMonsoon

Phew! It has been an exciting month for us at Pratham Books. Last month, we launched #TheBookMonsoon to mark Donate-a-Book's 3rd birthday. We asked if you could help us raise funds for 3000 books in 30 days. But guess what? YOU donated 3000 books in just 8 days! And you wouldn't stop. Over 12,000 books have been donated to several campaigns during this period. 

Thank you for making #TheBookMonsoon a roaring success and showering the gift of books to children across India!
Several campaigns are still in need of books for their libraries/reading programs. Here is a list of all the active campaigns you can donate to :

Thank you for helping India's children read.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Pratham Books is Hiring: UX Designer

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. In the last three years, we have invested deeply in technology-based initiatives to further our mission. We are now looking for a Data Analyst as we significantly scale these initiatives.

StoryWeaver is a digital platform that hosts stories in languages from India and beyond, so that every child can have an endless stream of stories in her mother tongue to read and enjoy. The stories can be read, translated, versioned or downloaded for free. All stories on the platform are openly licensed and the goal is to open source the code as well. In two years, StoryWeaver has scaled from 800 stories in 24 languages to 7800 stories in 111 languages by engaging with a community of users. We want every child to have access to quality reading resources in their own language.

StoryWeaver is being recognized as an emerging innovation that can transform the early literacy reader ecosystem globally. Our vision is for StoryWeaver to be the largest multilingual open library in the world for children by empowering communities to address the scarcity of reading resources in their mother tongue languages and scale the quantity and quality of content being produced.

Job Description:

We are looking for a passionate individual wanting to make a difference, one who believes that technology can be a powerful enabler in creating equitable access to resources. This role requires an individual contributor who can work effectively, both independently and collaboratively, in a team environment and deliver the project in a timely manner within allocated resources and budgets.

We are looking for a UX designer to work closely alongside our Product Development team in Bangalore.
Illustration by Radhika Tipnis
We’re looking for a self-motivated, detail-oriented individual who strongly believes in the power of a Good user experience. You will work closely with the internal teams and other Design partners. The person needs to be an out-of-the box thinker and should be a strong believer and propagator of use of open technologies.

Key Responsibilities:
  • UX designs for new features and enhancements on the platform
  • Translate concepts into user flows, mockups and prototypes (use cases) that lead to intuitive user experiences (where the screen would fit in the current website flow)
  • Create workflows, customer journey maps and designs for requirements provided by the Product Development team
  • Requirements gathering/ internal interviews for better understanding of features
  • Take a user-centered design approach and rapidly test and iterate your designs
  • Collaborate with other team members and stakeholders
  • Web screen (browser-based) and Mobile responsive
  • Prototyping
  • User testing and documentation: testing  the  prototypes with key stakeholders, documenting the experience, etc. 
  • Support Content & Marcom teams on illustrations/ designs on a need basis

Location: Position is based out of Bangalore. Project is expected to complete within a 2 year time-frame.

Salary: Compensation will be commensurate with experience.

Please send your resumé to careers@prathambooks.org with 'UX Designer' in the subject line of the email.

"Show a people as one thing, as only one thing, over and over again, and that is what they become." | Beyond the stereotype

Novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has spoken eloquently and often of "the danger of a single story" -- and it is these "single stories" that help gender bias along. A single way of seeing how girls should look. How boys should be. What's acceptable. What's admirable.

When our Instagram friend, mommyingtales, reached out about her  campaign on #agenerationwithoutgenderbias, we were only to happy to put together a list of #genderpositive storybooks for kids.

We're committed to the idea of "many stories" about gender. Our stories feature everyday heroes like the motorbike-riding Games teacher, Miss Laya, and a grandmother who invents machines to do daily chores around the house. They shine a light on inspiring Indian role models like scientist, Anna Mani, and Olympic gymnast, Dipa Karmakar. They share the joy of a father cooking for his daughter, or a young boy, Kali, who pursues his love for Bharatanatyam. They walk us in the footsteps of girls who long to fly, or play football, or love to eat.

After all, as Adichie says, "The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story."

Here's a list of some of our favourite #genderpositive stories in different languages from Pratham Books. Just click to shop.

Meet Sooraj's inventive grandmother
Make friends with purple Puchku 
Be inspired by Dipa Karmakar
Meet brave little Ana
Riju and Manju teach you a thing or two about computers
Say hello to young Manikantan
Enjoy a hearty meal with Neema

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Building a Book Bank!

In 2016, NIPUN set up a campaign on the Donate-a-Book platform to raise funds for the kids they were working with. NIPUN is a non-profit organization that works towards enhancing the quality of life of the needy and the vulnerable. They are currently working with marginalized families who have migrated to Delhi from neighbouring states in search of employment. Casual labour, domestic services, rickshaw pullers and petty trading are among the major sources of livelihood. Many of the children in these families do not have access to education and this is the reason why NIPUN started a campaign to give these kids access to books - right at their doorstep!

Nipun was only able to raise 12% of the funds they needed and eventually received 118 books. But these books have already been read by hundreds of children in the J.J clusters of Meer Bagh, Delhi. The children have also enthusiastically created a library club in the community.


When asked about the experience of creating a campaign on Donate-a-Book platform :
“Due to funds constraint we could not set up a library for the underprivileged children but now due to this campaign we got books which are being used to set up the community library.”




If just 118 books could spread the joy of reading, imagine the magic many, many more books could create.

NIPUN has set up another campaign to help the children they serve have access to more books. They aim to empower underprivileged children with a special focus on girls. Presently around 600 children are enrolled at various centres where Nipun is providing them with pre-school and remedial education, and eventually mainstreaming them into Government School. NIPUN would like to create a book bank for these children to inculcate better reading habits, promote joyful learning and to reduce the drop-out rate.

Join them in their endeavour and help them get more books for their library! This monsoon, make it rain books on NIPUN's book bank campaign.