The Ready to Read program is designed to be an innovative intervention by teaching English reading and writing through a phonetic and whole language approach. In addition to introducing basic phonics through Total Physical Response (TPR), it also introduces students to common sight words, writing practice, group play activities and reading time. This dynamic reading program, specifically designed for Tamil-medium students, fits in a bag and can be easily transported. The need for this program is heightened by the fact that there is no comparable alternative, which uses culturally appropriate and relevant content. This balanced program supplements the primary school curriculum, enabling students to read words and simple sentences within a few weeks. In 2009-2010 it was piloted in 36 schools with about 2000 fourth and fifth standard students in eight districts across the state. The results to date have been encouraging and we have received an overwhelming response from teachers and students.
Aid India, a Chennai based education NGO:
Aid India has been working in Tamil Nadu for the last ten years. It was started by a group of IIT and BITS alumni in 1996 and has been involved in Integrated Community Development - Education, Health, Women’s Empowerment and Livelihood – programs in several blocks across the state. Aid India works closely with the government and UNICEF to develop curriculum and methodologies to improve education quality in schools. Aid India has also received several prestigious awards (Ashoka Fellowship, Lemelson Award for Innovators, MIT Indus Technovators Award, Pratham USA Award), for innovative work in education.
The flagship initiative of Aid India is the Eureka Child Project. The objective of Eureka Child is to improve the quality of education through direct action as well as with NGO and government partnerships. Currently, more than 350 staff and 2,000 volunteers are involved in developing and disseminating quality education materials and methodologies in Tamil, science, mathematics, English and pre-primary across eleven districts in the state.