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Help GRN consolidate and disseminate evidence-based best practices to policy makers, implementers, leaders, communities, and schools! Find more information on 2018 GRN activities, and share your interest in providing expert input, peer reviewing, case study experiences, and dissemination by contacting

GRN 2018 Products and Activities:

Today reading skills are more important than ever. Yet UNESCO statistics indicate 387 million primary school-age children worldwide - two-thirds of whom attend school - are unable to read proficiently. Through a host of activities in 2018, the Global Reading Network (GRN) will contribute toward raising awareness of this vital need and provide resources to support effective early grade reading (EGR) instruction throughout the world.

The Reading within Reach (REACH) team provides core support to USAID's All Children Reading strategy and over 2,000 individuals both within and outside the USAID community access GRN's professional resources and events. Feel free to contact the REACH team members referenced below via the GRN email box at

Sustaining the Global Reading Network. The GRN is conducting a stocktaking to develop a long-term strategy for network survival beyond 2018. We gathered ideas through focus groups of GRN members representing different world regions. The newly elected GRN Steering Committee is working to support the GRN secretariat in developing a framing document and engagement strategy for a post-2018 Reading Community of Practice. Contact: Jennifer Gerst, Project Director.

Boosting professional networks in Spanish-speaking Latin America and the Caribbean. During 2018, REACH is working with the USAID-funded Latin America and Caribbean Reads Capacity Program implemented by American Institutes for Research to support a newly formed Central America and the Caribbean Early Literacy Network (ReLei) based at Universidad del Valle de Guatemala. GRN will help ReLei launch its research program, one of several important vehicles for stimulating engagement of regional Ministries of Education, practitioners, academics and civil society in ReLei during its first year. Contact: Jennifer Gerst, Project Director.

Expanding EGR professional development. Drawing from over 8 years of experience and investment in USAID partner countries, a working group of EGR implementers is helping REACH consolidate best practices and useful resources into a 3-day training opportunity. The package covers pedagogy, teacher professional development, learning materials, coaching, school leadership, monitoring and evaluation and other critical design/implementation elements, incorporating relevant USAID policy guidance. An abbreviated version will be presented at the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) Conference in Mexico in March. The full training package is adaptable for capacity building of Ministry of Education technical staff, USAID mission and other donor technical staff, and implementers. Contact: Alison Pflepsen, Reading Specialist.

Spotlighting reading for children with disabilities. Children with disabilities are often at an acute disadvantage in terms of accessing quality learning services, including early grade reading programs. GRN is creating a toolkit that consolidates research and best practice in literacy instruction for children with disabilities. Building on inclusive education framed by UNICEF, UNESCO and others, the toolkit highlights important disabilities research and incorporates experiences of current programs in Africa, Asia and other regions. GRN will present the toolkit at a virtual meeting in Summer 2018. Contact: Deepa Srikantaiah, Senior Researcher.

Increasing book titles and improving book distribution. The REACH team is supporting efforts by All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development (ACR GCD) and Global Book Alliance (GBA) to ensure that children everywhere have the requisite books and learning materials needed to read. With input from the GRN community, REACH with ACR GCD is preparing design guidelines      for Book Track and Trace initiatives which leverage book procurement and distribution software. The Enabling Writers (EW) Workshop Program is completing its work with partners in Bangladesh, Haiti, Indonesia, Nepal, Nigeria and the Philippines to develop a low-cost sustainable model for rapid creation of quality readers using SIL Lead's Bloom software. EW books are open-licensed for sharing, electronic use and large-scale printing and uploading to multiple digital platforms. Finally, REACH is cooperating with Norwegian Digital Learning Arena and GBA to create quality assurance criteria and processes for the Global Digital Library, which launches later in 2018. Contact: Aristarick Lyimo, Training Specialist.

Keeping GRN up to speed on research. A series of early grade reading "Research-to-Use" papers available in late Spring 2018 will present key literature in the field and address knowledge gaps in the areas of structured pedagogy, formative assessment, coaching models, early childhood/pre-school interventions, and connections between early math and early reading learning and outcomes. Topics were informed by our Community of Practice members and USAID All Children Reading staff. They will be presented through a series of webinars during 2018. Contact: Deepa Srikantaiah, Senior Researcher.

Strengthening EGR programming design, scale-up and impact across primary school. REACH is also working with partners to organize discussions, guidance and concept papers which will inform improved scoping of reading reform efforts, assessment of proficiency in reading/literacy across primary school, and planning for scale-up and sustainability of reading programs. GRN will communicate more about these efforts in future newsletters and announcements. Contact: Jennifer Gerst, Project Director.