Happy Readers are now in use in over 1,000 schools in Zimbabwe, with 80 in Zambia. We recently completed a major project implementation of the scheme in 300 rural marginalized schools across Zimbabwe, training over 2500 teachers, with proven reach to over 100,000 children with over a quarter of a million books. More importantly we did some serious analysis of children's reading ability before and after Happy Readers, as well as qualitative assessments with Heads, teachers and pupils.

These findings have been independently analysed and verified by external consultants. (See reports below)

The headline results we have measured & observed are:

  • Big drops in the hard-to-reach Non-Readers, (down by 60%)
  • Significant improvements in Headline Literacy rates (up by 55%+) (based on Word Recognition)
  • Significant improvements in Sentence Reading (+70-85%), especially in Grades 3 to 5
  • Significant improvements in Comprehension scores (+46-65%) in Grades 3 to 5
  • Huge improvements in “Real Readers” (who can read words, passage and understand) (+110% in Grades 3 to 5, +250% in Grade 2)

The headline results we have measured & observed are:

  • The largest benefits of Happy Readers are seen in Grades 2 and 3
  • Grades 4 and 5 show improvements mainly in the struggling readers, but also significantly in terms of sentence reading and comprehension

The quantitative and qualitative results are summarised in the Executive Summary.

The statistical analyses have been solidly backed up by qualitative assessments and heads, teachers and pupils all attribute the improvements in reading, confidence and English language to the use of Happy Readers.

We are really excited by these findings. They confirm earlier analyses we have done in Zimbabwe and Zambia, just at a much bigger scale and level of thoroughness of testing & analysis. (over 5000 children were tested and the results analysed).

From what we have developed, learned and implemented over the past 7 years, we now have a solid literacy development scheme that is proven to work in even the most challenging rural school environments. The scheme works and delivers measurable results for the development of reading in early grades, for remedial reading catch-up in middle to upper grades, and for the development of English as a second language, and even for Adult Literacy! We have developed our teacher training to a point where we can quickly empower rural school teachers to implement the scheme in their own classrooms quickly and effectively.

Happy Readers works very well in the African context to enable children to develop sufficient English language and reading skills to enable them to transition from the local-language emphasis in the lower grades to English as required for effective middle to upper grade learning and progression.

All reports can be downloaded below

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