Reading has several benefits, especially for students. A study published in Taylor and Francis found that children who read scientific books and novels showed improvements in their academic performance. This is because continuous reading influences one’s studying skills. Therefore, all students should be encouraged to read.
However, there are still instances where reading is inaccessible to some students. Fortunately, there have been several ways in which reading has been further attainable recently. Here is how reading has become more accessible in 2022:
Establishing schools in low-literacy areas
The most convenient way to give children access to reading materials is in school, where they gather almost every day to learn. However in many parts of the world children don’t have access to books or schools. Bridge International tackles both in Africa by building schools in areas with no educational institutions.
It does this by equipping its schools with reading materials like textbooks that are carefully created by its team of academic experts. This ensures that the textbooks are in line with the country’s curriculum, localized for the students to relate to, and appropriate for children’s age. They then distribute these high-quality textbooks to the schools they establish, so that every child has access to reading.
Providing braille books for the visually-challenged
People with disabilities should not be excluded from having access to reading materials. As a solution, the Indian Association for the Blind produce braille books for people with visual challenges in the country.
Through their braille books production house, the organization makes printed materials accessible in braille format. At present, these books are available to all the visually-challenged residents in Tamil Nadu, a state in South India. Aside from this, the organization also has an ongoing program where they distribute braille storybooks to 4,000 visually-challenged students in South India. Through this project, they give people with disabilities an opportunity to read in a way that they understand.
Connecting book donors to schools with no libraries
1 in 8 schools across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland have no library. To combat this problem, Books2All connects book donors with schools that lack libraries.
Through their website, schools can register themselves to receive books and donors can express their interest in donating. To add, their recently released app makes them even more accessible today. Schools choose from among the list of books that were donated. In as fast as 3 days, Books2All notifies the donor that they can now deliver the books to the school. Through this initiative, reading opportunities and materials have become more available to students.
Helping kids with learning disabilities read
Children that have dyslexia have a difficult time reading traditional books. They find it hard to make the connection between the sound that a letter makes and the letter symbol itself. Still, this should not stop them from being able to read like other kids.
Research on dyslexic readers by the University of Munich concluded that dyslexic children from Germany improved when they used a computer-guided reading program. Today, apps and browser extensions narrate text aloud while kids follow the words on the screen. Examples of these are the text-to-speech app NaturalReader and the browser extension Web Reader. These programs assist dyslexic children in reading, therefore increasing reading accessibility.
Creating mobile libraries for public spaces
In Indonesia, there is a shortage of libraries, which contributes to its low literacy crisis. In order to solve this issue, the Office of Regional Library of Yogyakarta City has put together literacy programs to reach its communities.
The PUSPITA, a tricycle motorbike library service, and the MONIKA, a mobile library car, were created to bring books to the public. These two fleets are tasked to reach villages, public spaces, and schools that lack reading materials. These programs make reading more accessible to communities by bringing the materials directly to them.
Reading is a life-long skill that everyone should have access to. Here at Pro DIGI Book, we believe that people — especially students — should have appropriate access to reading, which many organizations and programs have succeeded in doing.