If children are to learn better, they have to read better. This is our program to create active libraries and reading spaces in each and every school of Ladakh.
Libraries@17000ft is our program that is aimed at improving reading skills of children, specifically in schools that are remote, hard to reach and have no access to children.
Our Impact so far
100 Libraries in Leh District already setup
100 Libraries in Kargil District to be setup by Nov 2016
17000 ft Library Program implemented across 300 schools of Ladakh
600 Teachers trained in our Library and Reading Program
17000 ft sets up libraries with colourful, engaging, age appropriate books, in English and Hindi, as well as the local languages, Urdu and Ladakhi, largely from domestic publishers. Books are chosen keeping in mind the reading abilities of the children, and emphasis is laid on picture books, locally relevant content and also books which provide exposure to the outside world. 17000 ft libraries consist not only of easy reading and fiction books, but also have reference books, subject exposure books, encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases etc., to aid the child in his academic curriculum. The libraries will also be equipped with stimulating games and art and craft material to engage the child. Each library is fitted with a colourful rack designed and fabricated here at our Head Office in Delhi and shipped to Leh.
At 17000 ft, we believe that a school Library is not a collection of books, but a means of helping young students to improve their reading and consequently their academic performance. A Library in a remote region like rural Ladakh becomes all the more important to these 1st generation learners due to lack of availability of any other source of information like TV, Internet or even the mobile. Given the remoteness of the villages of Ladakh, any interventions aimed at improving existing systems must be supplemented and supported by a robust and well planned monitoring and assessment system.
17000 ft has developed its Library Management System, learning and improvising from an existing similar system developed by its Knowledge partners, Akshara Foundation, Bangalore (http://www.akshara.org.in). Books are colour coded, sorted and catalogued based on specific reading levels, genres and languages of the books. The schools are equipped with Library Registers, Reading Program currriculum booklet and a system put in place to manage, monitor and assess their libraries. Teachers are trained on our methodology and the performance of the libraries are shared with the Department of Education.
The standout feature of Libraries are the regular Reading and Monitoring sessions that are conducted at each of the remote schools through our facilitators and visiting volunteers. The excitement, exposure and learning derived by the children through these visits have been the single largest factor contributing to the increased presence and use of books across Ladakh.