REACH Project Contributes to Global Education Conversation

Around the world, more than 250 million children either fail to complete more than three years of basic education or do so without acquiring adequate fundamental skills in literacy and numeracy. URC’s Reading within Reach (REACH) initiative, funded by USAID, is working to address this deficit by consolidating and disseminating evidence to support improvement in early grade reading (EGR) achievement. REACH has mobilized a community of reading experts into the Global Reading Network (GRN) as a means of collaborating and sharing knowledge.

REACH showcased program accomplishments at the 62nd Annual Meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) in Mexico City, March 25-29. Joining over 3,000 researchers, analysts, practitioners, and students representing 114 countries, REACH was a major participant at the event where they:

  • Sponsored a pre-conference workshop on best practices for designing and implementing EGR programs;
  • Spearheaded CIES Special Interest Group meetings on global mathematics, literacy, and inclusive education;
  • Moderated and presented at panel sessions on government partnership in EGR initiatives, adapting reading instruction to context and language, conducting research and evaluation to inform program design and scale-up, and developing best practices for developing materials.

REACH sponsored several opportunities for conference attendees to network and learn more about REACH and GRN activities. Together with the Global Book Alliance, REACH’s GRN sponsored a booth where visitors could sign up online to join the GRN. REACH sponsored coffee breaks as well as a breakfast session where Dr. Eirini Gouleta, USAID Senior Education Advisor, opened conversation on a plan to work with REACH on a diagnostic tool to support deeper examination of a country’s capacity to implement new language policies and sustainable reading programs.

The CIES gathering energized the global education community to continue to work together to attain Sustainable Development Goal 4 of ensuring inclusive and quality education for all. REACH Project Director Jennifer Gerst says: “While much has been accomplished, much remains to be done. These gatherings are essential to REACH and GRN’s efforts to collaborate with the reading community to advance scalable and sustainable programs, strengthen institutional capacity development, integrate children with a variety of physical and intellectual disabilities in reading efforts, and leverage technology and work with publishers to greatly expand the number of reading books for children.”

Learn more about the REACH Project here.


REACH Project Director Jennifer Gerst, presents at the CIES meeting in Mexico City.
April 12, 2018
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