African Storybook Project: Maker App & Reader App
USABILITY/STATUS: In Use
GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS: Africa
SOLUTION TYPE: Digital Library
Open access to picture storybooks in the languages of Africa.
- Operating system: Web-based, iOS, Android
- Hardware: Tablet, smartphone, computer
- Connectivity: Offline, online
- Accessibility features: Magnification
- Accessories needed for use: Charger/solar charger, HDMI connector cable, speakers, headphones
- How it supports learning: Several ACR GCD awardees have used African Storybook (ASB) Project books in their ACR GCD-funded projects. eKitabu has translated/adapted/contextualized hundreds of accessible versions of ASB books in Amharic, Lamwe, Yao, Yumbuka, Chichewa, Kinyarwanda, and Swahili. It also adapted the books to include Kenyan Sign Language, Malawian Sign Language, and Rwandan Sign Language videos, and created Digital Story Time episodes in Kenyan Sign Language using the books. These books are also being used to support learning in schools.
- Costs: Free to use, translate, and contextualize
- Other cost considerations: Translators, editors, devices to access content
- Settings: School, home, informal learning spaces, community
- Target Populations: Children, teachers, parents
- Current Language(s): Multiple/African
- Geography (locations): Africa
- African Storybook Initiative External ‘Accountability’ Evaluation: 2013 - 2016: As one example, a pilot project in Kenya found that learners mostly read the books on their own, but sometimes read aloud and explained the content. Teachers then asked them to write a composition. This approach had a very positive effect on learners’ performance. The English teacher believed that it contributed to the school’s improved scores in the 2020 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE). The mean scores for English (55 percent) and Kiswahili (54 percent) increased from the 2019 mean scores of 50 percent and 45 percent, respectively. Implementers believe that this impact can be traced back to 2018, when learners began accessing the African Storybooks on school tablets.
- According to the chief librarian in Kibera, Kenya, 14,000 children were reached through digitally projected story reading sessions in just three months in 2016. Teachers from the surrounding 70 schools in this densely populated slum area of Nairobi brought their children for the library program each week. The children also came to the library on weekends and holidays. Children were exposed to 41 books in Kiswahili and English from the African Storybook site. Building on this success, African Storybook planned to support three more community libraries in the Nairobi area in 2017.