The Storymakers is a project that aims to promote literacy skills among children of primary school age in certain areas across Armenia. It originated in response to the low literacy rates reported for the children of primary school age as being “learning poor”. According to the World Bank Policy Brief, in 2019, in Armenia, 35% of children at the primary school age lack foundational reading skills, that is, are unable to read and understand a short text. The Learning Poverty Brief shows that Armenia’s learning poverty is 21% worse than the average for the Europe and Central Asia region and 6% worse than the average for upper middle-income countries. These numbers are supported further by the results of the external monitoring run by the national assessment center, which show that the average grade of the schoolers in the Armenian language ranges between 4-5 on a 10-point scale.
The project intends to introduce the concept and the methodology for reading circles to improve children’s reading comprehension and social skills, as an effective instructional approach for a broad range of students, including students with disabilities.
The project will aim to create and pilot a model for boosting children’s literacy skills, together with a toolbox with materials to use. Through workshops and training of the local trainers, the project team will engage children in creating storybooks using visual and verbal resources. The topics for creating the storybooks will include social issues, such as poverty, equality, discrimination (bullying), diversity and differences, disability, environment/nature, health, etc.
The project is supported by the Zartir Fellowship 2020-21 of the Impact Hub Yerevan.
What is your research about is a project for university students to help increase their awareness and literacy of research methods. It engages the local students into podcast conversations with featured Erasmus Mundus alumni and their research work during their academic study abroad. The project is done with support from the EU’s Erasmus Mundus Students and Alumni Association.