LEMA -Literacy Education and Math Lab
64% of 798M illiterate adults in the world are women. Yet we know that a child born to a woman that can read is 50% more likely to survive past the age 5 and that a mother that talks, reads and singings to children from the moment they are born, provides a strong foundation for learning. The Literacy Education and Math Labs in the context of this challenge, will serve expecting mothers and mothers of children 0-5 to provide fundamental tools for lifelong learning and skills that are transferable to their children. LEMAs use a set of games that we have developed and tested in 3 decades of work. The workbooks contain relevant parenting information. LEMAs use play as a catalyst for learning and can take place anywhere: parks, homes, etc.
The LEMAs use the learning games we have carefully designed, structured and tested across three decades of work, in a variety of social contexts and with diverse populations. The author of these games,
Javier González Quintero, has achieved international recognition for his work and innovation as an
Ashoka Fellow and a
Schwab Social Entrepreneur. The original version of the game is in Spanish, with adaptations to Portuguese, English, Four Mayan Languages and we are currently working on the French version. To date, close to a million people (children, youth and adults) in 10 countries, have learned to read, write and think mathematically with our games.
Video of the author of the literacy and numeracy games.
Learning Circle in Guatemala. Women learning Spanish as a second language as well as their first language.
Mothers and grandmothers. Refugees from Liberia living in the U.S., learning to read and write in English.
Learning Circle/Guatemala. Youth.
Learning Circle /Colombia
A mother working as Learning Coach for 1st graders in her community.
Who will benefit from this idea and where are they located?
Low income communities potentially at a global scale. So far we have developed programs in 10 countries. Most of our work has been in Latin America, we are now exploring India, Africa and the United States.
There is potential to create jobs for women, who will be trained as Learning Coaches. This will allow them to attend children in the community, supporting the efforts of the schools and their teachers, to ensure all children learn reading, writing and math; fundamental skills to succeed in school and in life.
How could you test this idea in a quick and low-cost way right now?
1. Adapt materials to culture, context and target population
2. Partner with local organization with strong community base and social focus
3. Provide training to Facilitators or Learning Coaches
What kind of help would you need to make your idea real?
-Interested and willing community partner
-Funds to provide materials, training, monitoring and evaluation
Is this an idea that you or your organization would like to take forward?
Yes. I am looking for partners that might be interested in taking this idea forward in their communities.