(2 Sep 2021) The Asia Foundation is introducing its innovative Let’s Read initiative to Mongolia to promote reading and improved education outcomes. The initiative helps parents and caregivers use children’s books as critical tools in actively contributing to early childhood development. Let’s Read Mongolia is made possible with generous financial support from the Lorinet Foundation.
In Mongolia, only 58 percent of children ages two to four receive responsive care from adults, including learning-related activities; this is a huge missed opportunity. It is vital for pre-primary school-aged children to be engaged in activities that encourage early literacy, numeracy, and social-emotional skills. These early opportunities prepare children for school and enable them up to reach their full development potential.
Reading together is one of the most important tools parents, teachers, and other caregivers can adopt to provide young children with the stimulus they need to achieve developmental milestones. It enables children to be exposed to an abundance of words, connect the sounds of words with text, and associate reading with an enjoyable experience. These associations are critical first steps to becoming fluent readers and helping children create an innate desire to read (and learn) more.
The Asia Foundation’s Lets Read initiative responds to this need by simultaneously providing a free digital library of children’s storybooks, working with local authors and illustrators to develop new content, and partnering with families and educators to create impactful reading opportunities for children. The Let’s Read initiative is currently active in 15 countries throughout Asia and the Pacific.
Let’s Read Mongolia is designed as a comprehensive program that will increase the availability of high-quality Mongolian language children’s books and encourage adults to establish reading routines with young children. Using interactive storytime events, social media campaigns, training for parents and educators, and community engagement in Ulaanbaatar, the project will pursue multiple complementary pathways towards increasing the number of children who are being read to regularly in their preschool years. As best practices emerge relevant to the context of Mongolia, The Asia Foundation will also work with the Mongolian government to support changes in policy and practice that will further the cause of reading with children.
The Asia Foundation is looking forward to collaborating with Mongolian parents, educators, children, book creators, civil society leaders, government officials, and many other actors on this exciting new initiative.
The Asia Foundation has the news in full.