Project Aksharsparsh is a school-intervention program run by Swadhar which focuses on inculcating reading skills and making learning joyful for school-going children. Since its inception in 2003, we have reached out to more than 2 lac children from various Govt. run schools as well as private affordable schools catering to low-income communities.

Building a better tomorrow through reading today !

“Reading is a fundamental skill that plays a key part in all our lives,” says lead researcher Dr. Luis Alejandro Lopez-Agudo from the University of Malaga. Learning to read is an important aspect of children’s academic performance and development. As reading habits tend to develop early in life, it is crucial to encourage children’s interest in reading by working with them to cultivate them. Children from marginalized backgrounds often experience learning setbacks in their early education for different reasons, and have limited access to textbooks, let alone the opportunity to read beyond their curriculum. It all affects their reading abilities, practice, vocabulary, and ultimately academic performance.

To overcome this challenge, Swadhar launched a school intervention program – Aksharsparsh in the year 2003. It aims to work on children’s reading levels and habits to make their learning process joyful, especially children studying in schools run by local municipal corporations and Jilha Parishads. We started working with Pune municipal corporation schools in 2003 and Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal corporation schools in 2007. Eventually the program was offered to private schools catering to low-income, urban poor communities, and schools run by Jilha Parishad in rural parts of Pune district.

The program aims to –

The program works in close coordination with local school boards and authorities. Aksharsparsh team members – Book fairies as they are aptly called, conduct reading activities, and various group activities – games, puzzles, story-telling, songs etc. with the children in designated time slots in schools. The program focuses on children from 1st to 4th standard, as these formative years are crucial for developing reading skills. Additionally, a reading ability test is administered to assess the impact of the program on the children’s reading abilities.

Our observations show that the program has a significant positive impact on the children’s reading skills and vocabulary, which in turn has led to an increase in their school attendance. As a result, the children are more confident and engaged in their learning, leading to improved academic performance.

Every year, we reach out to 15000+ children from 90+ schools to make reading and learning joyful for them.