Worldwide, 250 million children of elementary school age cannot read or write. Some students – especially girls – don’t learn to read and write because they do not attend school. For other students who attend school, they don’t have access to good books and supplies to help them become strong readers and writers. This means that millions of children around the world don’t get to unlock their dreams.
Imagine not reading or writing.
Literacy is key to a bright future.
Throughout the Challenge, students around the world learned that illiteracy can lead to poverty, poor health, unemployment, inequality, low self-esteem, and more. Live webcasts gave teams around the world an opportunity to hear firsthand from parents and educators how literacy can change the lives of children, and change the country’s future.
Young people around the world helped make reading accessible, and interesting.
To celebrate reading, over 1,500 teams around the world created 300,000 handmade bookmarks which Save the Children distributed to students in Malawi, Nepal and to children in the United States. These bookmarks generated a $300,000 donation from the Bezos Family Foundation to programs in Peru, Mali, and Nepal.
To learn to read, you need good books!
The funding that teams unlocked with every handmade bookmark helped create book banks in Peru, Mali, and Nepal, so children like twelve-year-old Sampurna, and his classmates in Nepal could read about subjects that interest them. Sampurna found a book about Mount Everest in the library at the reading camp funded because of the hard work, compassion, and creativity of students worldwide.
Reading together, learning together.
In Apurimac, Peru, Save the Children implemented a program to boost reading skills in both Spanish and native languages. Children like Abigail were supported in their love of reading with books and facilitated reading camps. The project also trained teachers, engaged the community, and created more reading opportunities for children inside and outside the classroom.
Raising Literacy Awareness
By making bookmarks youth across the world helped to raise $300,000 to support Save the Children’s literacy boost in Peru, Mali, and Nepal. Launching the challenge on September 8, 2014 – World Literacy Day – the goal was to both raise awareness about the issue and raise money to help across the world.
By the Numbers
Key Numbers 250 million children of primary age across the world cannot read or write and youth aided by the Literacy Challenge worked to help these children.
Funding from the Literacy Challenge stocked international book banks and worked to improved school attendance, reading comprehension, and self-confidence.
What Happened with the Bookmarks?
A selection of the many bookmarks made during this challenge was distributed to Literacy Boost students in Malawi, Nepal, and children in U.S programs.
Where we came from
Literacy Challenge Teaching Materials
Find curricula, videos, and more resources from all Challenges in our resource library.