Systemic change in early grade literacy: lessons from Save the Children

One area of interest for me over the last several years has been thinking about some of the broader factors that shape children’s experiences — for example, how education policy informs learning in classrooms. I’ve written about this issue in Rwanda for academic audiences. Recently, I was able to apply this perspective to some work with Save the Children in Rwanda by drafting a learning paper to reflect on their efforts to bring about systemic change in early childhood literacy through their program called Advancing the Right to Read (ARR).

ARR was a program of complementary interventions that had the overarching goal of promoting and sustaining literacy development for children ages 0 to 9 in Rwanda. Each intervention focused on a different aspect of early childhood literacy. The programs targeted different age groups, generating evidence around best practice for children thorough evaluations of those projects and using findings to advocate for change. Through this work, SC sought to build awareness and understanding, strengthen capacity, and advocate for policy consensus among government and civil society, embedding the ideas of ARR into national systems for sustainable change. The final report from this effort is located here.

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