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Supporting Emergent Literacy and Math Skills (ELM) in Early Childhood Programs in Ethiopia

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Save the Children

One of Save the Children’s programmatic priorities is supporting 3 to 5 year old children around the world with quality early childhood care and development (ECCD) programs. The focus is on strengthening school readiness skills so that children are ready to enter Grade 1 and succeed in school. Emergent literacy and math skills (ELM) developed in these preschool years are crucial for later reading and math outcomes.

In 2013, Save the Children began to implement an innovative ELM toolkit in Ethiopia, to provide targeted training to ECCD teachers on how best to support these skills through play and joyful learning in the context of community as well as school based early childhood centers.

The impacts of the program and training were evident in just five months. Children in the ELM intervention group demonstrated almost a threefold improvement in both early literacy learning and math skills.

Save the Children is currently working on spreading the teacher training materials while testing a parent outreach component focused on building parental capacity to support ELM learning at home.

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