Save the Children Receives Devex International Development Innovator Award for its Literacy Boost Program

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Program Boosts Reading and Writing Skills Inside and Outside the Classroom

Save the Children’s Literacy Boost program helps children like Bajura, age 8, improve their reading skills.

Save the Children’s Literacy Boost program helps children like Himal, age 8, improve their reading skills. April 16, 2011. Photo Credit: Deergha Shrestha

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WESTPORT, Conn. (April 21, 2011) — Save the Children has been chosen as one of the Devex Top 40 Development Innovators for its Literacy Boost program, an effort to improve language and reading skills among young school-age children in developing countries.

The Devex Top 40 Development Innovators were selected through a poll of more than 2,000 humanitarian and development workers who completed the online survey last month.

“We are honored be recognized by our peers for our achievements in improving children’s reading and writing skills through our Literacy Boost program,” said Heather Simpson, senior director of global education and child development.

“More children are in school today than ever before, but our research showed that they were not learning how to read once they got there. We were alarmed by our findings, and we knew we had to try a new, creative approach to help them succeed, one that extended beyond the classroom walls and into children’s daily lives.”

Save the Children’s Literacy Boost program is aimed at supporting young readers — children in grades one to four --- through reading assessments, teacher training and community engagement through fun activities like reading camps and reading buddies. The program is underway in more than 10 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and early results are showing improvements in children’s literacy skills.

“To reach the Millennium Development Goals, we can’t be satisfied with doing things the way they used to be done,” said Raj Juma, President of Devex, the world’s leading online community for more than half a million aid workers and international development professionals. “The organizations we are honoring as Development Innovators are those leading the way to a better world through innovation.”

The top 40 Development Innovators list includes the leading organizations in four types of international development organizations: donor agencies and foundations, development consulting companies, implementing non-governmental organizations and advocacy groups. Among the award recipients in these categories include BRAC, the William J. Clinton Foundation, PLAN and UNICEF. The awards will be presented at a high-level forum in Washington, DC tonight. Chris S. Thomas, Chief Strategist with Intel and Sonal Shah, the White House Director of Social Innovation will speak at the event.

Save the Children is the leading, independent organization that creates lasting change for children in need in the United States and around the world. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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