Improved academic performance
In 2017, we evaluated the impact of 25 Inspiring Readers school libraries. Across the board, teachers noted an improvement in children’s reading fluency and confidence, and this has improved performance in other subjects. Results include a 7% increase in science exam pass rate at Muringato Primary School after just one year.
Perhaps even more significantly, children report feeling more confident, more able to take steps towards a brighter future and a new love of books. These results were noted again in 2018, when the Inspiring Readers programme expanded to Uganda.
“Before, we used to fear and shiver when teachers asked us to read in front of the class. Nowadays everyone can read easily and we no longer fear.”
– Pupil, Mbale Police Wanyera Primary School, Mbale, Uganda
This was also noted after the implementation of STEM study hubs in Malawi, which focus on supporting girls as they explored careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. So far, 3,300 students have accessed their local STEM Study Hub and teachers have noted a change in the girls’ confidence:
“Sciences brings out the inner me. Chemistry and biology are my favourites. I come to the library mostly for the science books. They really work with the new curriculum and the information is very clear. I want to be a biomedical engineer or a neurosurgeon.”
– Wakisa Makisulu, 14-year-old STEM Study Hub user
Improved reading speed
In Kenya’s deprived Laikipia county, literacy levels are low and schools lack the resources pupils need to learn to read. The African Educational Trust supports schools in the region and in 2018 we partnered with them on their Yes to Reading project. Together, we created 14 school libraries full of UK donated and locally purchased books and trained teachers in how to support pupils’ reading. The impact has clear, with a 52% increase in words read per minute for children in participating schools. Read the impact report here.