‘Lets Read’ to turn internet addiction into reading habit

The Jaago Foundation, in collaboration with The Asia Foundation, has promoted safe internet use among children and increased understanding of digital and blended education for students along with their parents.

It has created direct access to more than 2,500 students and 2,500 parents of a virtual learning app that has been championed as a vital ICT tool for the learning process, reads a press release.

The project covered the districts of Rajshahi, Khulna, Chittagong, Comilla and Barisal. Due to the socio-economic conditions, these areas have relatively better access to smartphones and the Internet, which makes them ideal for this initiative.

A total of 250 youth volunteers from these five different provinces worked directly to implement activities in 25 schools. The project activities created a safe online environment and improved students’ grade-level reading competence through a storytelling approach.

Volunteers empowered, went to selected schools and read aloud stories from the educational app to students in different sessions to raise awareness of internet safety and promote productive screen time.

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More than 2,500 students and 2,500 parents have been provided with guidance and information about the application and its practical use. The youth volunteers instructed the students to download the app on their parents’ phones along with the necessary instruction leaflets.

At the end of the session, the participants were given some interesting activities no later than a week later. The youth volunteers involved visited the schools every 4 weeks to follow up with the students to get updates on the activities.

This is so that students and parents can once again be made aware of the importance of reading and storytelling through the Let’s Read learning app.

One parent shared: “Since my child started using the Let’s Read app, I’ve noticed a significant improvement in their reading skills. They used to spend hours on their phones playing mindless games, but now they’re keen to find new stories and books to read on the app. It was such a joy to see my child grow and learn through the joy of reading.”

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Qazi Faisal bin Siraj, Country Representative for the Asia Foundation, said: “The Asia Foundation believes that children need books with characters, themes and settings that reflect and affirm their lives and provide opportunities to explore the world. To create an inquisitive and educated readership for a thriving Bangladesh, children must have access to quality books.”

“With this initiative, the Asia Foundation, in partnership with Jaago, introduced the Let’s Read initiative for parents, teachers and community members, where children have a wonderful opportunity to explore books for free. Each book can be downloaded and printed for offline use.”

Founder and CEO of Jaago Foundation, Kurvi Rakchand said, “Let’s Read Together is an initiative designed to allow our children to learn about safe use of the internet and productive screen time. They can find a variety of e-books filled with stories, colorful images, engaging characters and topics related to their lives.”

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The Jaago Foundation, in collaboration with the Asia Foundation, started this movement to create inclusive opportunities for children, including their parents and community members directly in the process. I hope it will benefit everyone who needs it.”

A teacher from a school in Rajshahi said: “As a teacher, I have seen firsthand the positive impact of the Let’s Read app on my students. They are more involved in class discussions and are able to understand and analyze texts at a higher level. I cannot recommend it enough to any child looking to Improve his reading skills and love of literature.

Nadia, a student from a school in Barisal, said, “I love Let’s Read. It’s so much fun to explore all the different stories and characters. I never knew reading can be so exciting.”

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