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A post from Little Zebra Books director, David Ker.

Last week I received these photos from Sindia Foster in Northern Mozambique. The photos show children reading the Bean book in Elomwe. There is a lot I don’t know about the photos. Who are these children? Where is this school? Who are the teachers? How many kids received the books?

There is a lot I don’t know. But there is quite a bit I do. These kids are almost certainly seeing their own language in a book for the first time. These teachers are imagining what it would be like if they could teach kids in the language they actually speak instead of in Portuguese.

These are kids I will never meet and books that I can’t read. But thanks to our efforts we’re part of something very special and very important. Intuitively we know that kids should have books in their own language. It just makes sense. And all the academic research backs up our intuition. Children that read in their own language do better in school in all areas of study. And they also do better at reading in national languages like Portuguese when they’ve first learned the basic skills of literacy in their own language.

30,000 books like these have been printed in the Elomwe language and are beginning to be distributed to children like these. I believe the long-term effects are going to be dramatic. Thank you for your part in making this happen. Whether you are someone who gives to Little Zebra Books, volunteers in practical ways, or says a prayer for us, you are a part of this transformational moment in Mozambique and Africa.

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Kids you’ll never meet and a book you’ll never read

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