The Enabling Writers Workshop Program (EWWP) is a component of Reading within Reach, and funded by All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development (ACR GCD) – a partnership of USAID, World Vision and the Australian Government. It is supported by University Research Council (URC) and SIL International through training, mentoring and monitoring processes. The books were created using SIL International’s Bloom book-writing software, winner of ACR GCD’s 2015 Enabling Writers competition.
The project aims to provide children with books to read every day. Millions of children in developing countries like Nigeria do not have access to high-quality books that support reading instruction. Books developed specifically for reading instruction provide simple single-word decodable text for the beginning reader, as well as text at increasingly difficult levels for the emerging reader. The availability of these books can boost reading acquisition and performance. It is this gap in resource availability that the Enabling Writers project hopes to bridge by the presentation of these 50 decodable texts and 150 texts at four difficulty levels.
The books developed under this project are written in Hausa. There is growing research evidence that support the use of a child’s home language as the best way to lay a strong foundation for reading and academics. Apart from the home language advantage the books offer, the books depict the cultural context of the lives of the children and are written by authors who live within the children’s community and understand the cultural context.
EW project (Nigeria) was launched in January 2017. The books presented are the products of three workshops held in February, March and May. During the first workshop in February, 40 writers were trained on using the Bloom book-writing software, and were guided to develop decodable and leveled storybooks in Hausa using the bloom software. Workshops two and three were devoted to book development, and involved 10 writers. From May to the first week of October, the AUN EWP team has worked with the Hausa Language consultants on the project to review and edit the books.
The books in the collection are categorized into narrative and informational texts. The narrative texts consist of fiction and folktales while the informational text present information on curriculum related topics from Social Studies, Basic Science and Technology, and other level related primary school subjects.