What Are Happy Readers?

Happy Readers are a set of Learn-to-Read books developed in Zimbabwe for use in African school situations, especially where English is a second language. The books use African wild animals as the characters and are brightly coloured on durable gloss paper with large, clear, colour pictures on each page to illustrate the stories.

They are currently used by nearly all the private schools in Zimbabwe as well as over 1000 rural schools in Zimbabwe and Zambia. Feedback from Teachers, Heads & Ministry of Education has been universally positive. The books work! (All books are approved by the Ministries of Education in Zimbabwe & Zambia for use in schools). The books included in our projects cover Grades 1, 2 and 3 but based on past experience will be used in grades 3, 4 5, 6 and even Grade 7 for remedial reading.

Happy Readers promote positive African values in a learning environment, as well as sensitising children and teachers to gender specific issues, best cultural practices and better world themes.

All books have instructions for use in English, Shona, Ndebele, Tonga, Nyanja and Bemba.
Versions of the level 1 reading books are being developed in Shona, Nyanja and Bemba.

How Do We Know It Works?

A recent Happy Readers Literacy project in Livingstone, Zambia, supported by the Australian Embassy has seen huge increases in literacy among those children that used Happy Readers.

Children that used Happy Readers showed a literacy rate of 75 to 90% after 18 months as compared to 10 to 25% for those children that did not use the programme. The average literacy rate before using Happy Readers was 32%.

A farm school in Macheke, Zimbabwe recorded literacy levels of 88% & 91% in its Grade 1 and 2 classes after 2 years of using Happy Readers in those grades. The middle and upper grades at the same schools (who had not used Happy Readers) had literacy levels of under 10%. There are several other case studies that have shown similar results.

These books comprise 9 Pupils Reading books and a Teacher/Classroom Resource pack with posters, Vocabulary cards and Teachers handbooks. Level 1 Happy Readers books develop the core vocabulary required in order to progress in reading. This is essential for readers whose mother tongue is not English. The books are fun for the children making the building of this vocabulary easier for the teachers.
These books comprise 9 Pupils Reading books and a Teacher/Classroom Resource pack with posters, Vocabulary cards and Teachers handbooks. Each Level 2 Happy Readers book has exercises on Comprehension, Letters & Sounds (Phonics & Spelling), Vocabulary Development and use of English Language.
These books also comprise 9 Pupils Reading books and a Teacher/Classroom Resource pack with posters, Vocabulary cards and Teachers handbooks. The Level 3 books feature the same exercises and wild animal characters, and include a number of themes and underlying messages. These include a specific anti-poaching story featuring African Wild Dogs, Rhinos & Elephants who team up to defeat a gang of poachers. Three of the books also feature Climate Smart Agriculture or Conservation Farming techniques (soil management, water harvesting etc) for sustainable livelihoods.
Level_3_Books
Versions of the level 1 reading books are being developed in Shona, Nyanja and Bemba.
All books have instructions for use in English, Shona, Ndebele, Tonga, Nyanja and Bemba.

Happy Readers are all you need to read – we are results driven with actual measurable results -we provide teacher training with supporting progress monitoring materials – we include individual annual data analysis in our resources.

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