Reading Together is a television program that encourages families to read with children. The program was developed as part of the Aga Khan Foundation’s Reading for Children initiative in partnership with the Republic of Kyrgyzstan Public Television and Radio Corporation (PTRC). Reading Together aims to show contestants and audience members the benefits of reading with children, increase communication between parents and their children and encourage positive behaviors through reading.
The program airs a new episode every week. An advertisement with a list of questions is broadcast on PTRC during each Reading Together episode and families are invited to send answers by SMS. The questions inquire about the content of three children’s stories to be explored in the upcoming episode. Families who answer all questions correctly may be chosen for participation the following week. Reading Together ensures that all children are able to participate by reimbursing families’ transportation costs. The program considers gender and geographical location when choosing participants.
Each episode focuses on a theme from children's literature which is explored through a number of short program segments, including an interview of participating families and children and interactive challenges where children must incorporate the information from the three stories. Activities on the show encourage participants to use both creativity and critical thinking skills. The winning team is awarded with Reading Together medals and children's books.
Following the launch of this program, teachers have begun conducting school-based Reading Together events in which students participate in competitions modeled after the television program. The events have become a fun opportunity to promote reading and involve parents in children’s education.The Reading Together program is encouraging a culture of reading by integrating reading habits into popular entertainment.
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CEI approaches in actionStudent supportExtra-curricular activitiesParental/community engagement in support of studentsLearning through PlayEnvironmentLocal language/Mother tongue languageArt & Music
Model details2015Not-for-profitLiteracyEnvironmentLocal language/Mother tongue languageArt & MusicActiveLong-term projectRepublic of Kyrgyz Public Television and Radio Corporation 1,100,000
TV advertisements invite at-home viewers to answer three questions about the content of the children's books. Respondents who answer all three questions correctly are considered for participation in the next episode. Reading Together selects 6 families from the respondents that represent a mix of boys and girls from urban and remote locations. The transportation costs of participating families are paid by Reading Together to ensure that this is not a barrier for any selected participants.
Scale1,100,000 learners have viewed the program's broadcast as of 2016February, 2016
Donor funds have been secured for the implementation of a Reading Together program in Turkmenistan. Replication is also being considered in Kenya, Bangladesh and India.
Monitoring & EvaluationYes
Reading Together collected data on the reading habits of children in the Kyrgyz Republic prior to program implementation. Parents were asked questions about the number of books owned, frequency of library visits and amount of time spent reading with thier children. Focus group discussions and interviews were also conducted. In late 2016, the same information will be collected once again. An impact evaluation will be conducted to determine the program's effects on reading habits.OtherChildren's reading habitsData has been collected, but not on a regular basis.No