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In India, being able to read at expected grade level fluency with comprehension by the end of grade 3 is the single largest predictor of all future academic success, including the board exams in grade 12. This situation is even more challenging in the case of Indian children who attend English medium schools, as they are immersed in a language that they have little or no access to in their homes. Imagine the impact of this! India is ranked second last among 73 countries that participated in PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) in 2009, and the report stated, “Only 11% of students are estimated to have a proficiency in reading at or above Grade level expectancy." Reading and writing, especially in English is a non-negotiable life skill we need to equip our children with. AURA and Stones2Milestones are two organizations that have made it their life’s work to teach reading and writing in English as a second language to children and adults with joy and compassion.
AURA Education runs the Wings of Words (WOW), a reading and language program to build the will and skill to read in children. Since reading and associated skills account for 80% of the language instruction in children from Nursery to class 3, Wings of Words for this age group will be a whole English Language Curriculum, covering listening, speaking, reading and writing. Just as the program for grades 1, 2 and 3 is called Wings of Words Milestone 1, 2 and 3, the program for Nursery, LKG and UKG is called Wings of Words First Steps 1, 2 and 3. The idea is to take the WOW reading program to low income private and state-run schools to ‘raise a happy reader,’ by gifting each one of them the ‘skill and will’ to read. This will happen by integrating shift in English-language teaching, empowering teachers, equipping children and reinforcing the mission at home.