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Storytime in Asia

Literacy Champion Spotlight



Colorful books that feed the imagination and inspire learning are essential to achieving early childhood literacy. Unfortunately, children’s books are often unavailable or prohibitively expensive for the vast number of families and schools in developing Asia, a region that is home to 66 percent of the world’s illiterate population. In response to this critical need, The Asia Foundation’s Books for Asia program launched Storytime in Asia. The month-long campaign leveraged social media and photos capturing the on-the-ground impact of book donations to raise awareness of the transformative power of children’s books in the developing world. Four outstanding children’s book publishers donated a total of 120,000 books -- Scholastic provided the lead donation – and international shipping company, Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), underwrote the cost of shipping books from the U.S. to Asia. Books for Asia concluded the campaign with International Literacy Day events involving a wide variety of fun reading and writing activities in 12 countries.

“So few children in developing Asia have beautiful books to help them learn how to read,” explains Melody Zavala, director of Books for Asia. “Countries are producing curricula for schools, but Storytime in Asia addresses the real lack of and real demand for picture books.”

Thanks to the joint effort of the Storytime in Asia partners, more than 1,700 in-need schools serving two million children across 17 countries in developing Asia are expected to benefit from the campaign.

Learn more about Storytime in Asia here.

Read About Our Literacy Champion Spotlights

826 National >
Asia Foundation >
Academy of American Poets >
Book Trust >
Hands Across the Sea >
Lakota Pine Ridge >
LitWorld >
LitWorld’s LitCamps>
Milk + Bookies >
Pajama Program >
Paws for Healing >
Pencils of Promise >
Reach Incorporated >
Reach Out and Read >
Reading is Fundamental >
Storytime in Asia >
Toys for Tots >
Tuck’s R.U.S.H. for Literacy >
UCF Reading Camps >


Video messages to inspire
young readers:

Whoopi Goldberg         Amar'e Stoudemire
Sarah Jessica Parker     Henry Winkler
Keke Palmer                   Justin Tuck

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