The Organization for Early Literacy Promotion is a registered society. OELP believes that strong foundations in reading and writing play a pivotal role towards equipping the next generation of young learners to meet the expectations of schooling and of the global world. One of its main activities is the implementation of the Early Literacy Project or ELP which is an effort to help young children who come from poor and marginalized socio-cultural groups to build strong foundations in reading and writing with understanding.
What are the main aims of ELP?
The main aim of this work is to address the reading and writing processes of young children who come from marginalized socio-cultural groups that typically underachieve in schools, by attempting to develop culturally and linguistically meaningful classroom practices for building strong foundations in reading and writing. The ELP methodologies and materials are developed through sustained engagement with the diverse learning processes of these young children and their teachers inside classrooms.
Who does ELP work with?
The focus of ELP’s work is young first generation readers and writers from the poorest and most vulnerable groups of society. Many of these children work in the day to either supplement the family income or share the responsibilities of a family who is living on the margins and struggling to survive within the harsh realities of a famine prone area.
What are our challenges?
Within the rural schools that ELP is working in, we have found many children who are unable to understand much of what transpires in the class, since they speak Marwari while the school lessons are in Hindi. Most of the children in these classes actively engage with the written forms of language for the first time only when they step into school, since there is hardly any opportunity to actively engage with printed words in their homes and real life situations. Getting them to relate to print in meaningful ways has also proved to be challenging. Within current literature on Early Literacy such children, who have not interacted with print during their early childhood years, have been viewed to be at a major disadvantage when they enter school. In addition to this many children migrate and so are irregular in school.
What is ELP about?
ELP believes that learning methods that evolve organically and are grounded in classroom realities will be sensitive to needs of children and teachers. Some important components of ELP are:
- To equip such children from marginalized and non literacy backgrounds to build strong foundations for reading and writing with understanding in Hindi.
- Combining a structured approach for equipping young first generation literacy learners with the linguistic knowledge and skills required for processing the sounds and symbols of the Devanagari script; along with several opportunities for free exploration.
- Opportunities for young learners to experience reading and writing processes as purposeful and meaningful for them
- Community Based Learning Centers or Bal Sahyog Kendras for equipping out of school children for schooling
- Remedial Centers or Bal Sahyog Kendras located in State run Primary schools
- Setting up demonstration sites for exposure based teacher training
- Developing print rich classrooms with reading corners
- Setting up mobile libraries
- Development of resource material and methodologies which are geared to the special needs of the children of marginalized communities
- Sustained meeting and interactions with village communities and School Management Committees (SMCs)
- Training and resource support to GOs and NGOs in Rajasthan and other Hindi speaking States