Changing lives through a love of books and reading

Baroness Gail Rebuck is a British publisher and chair of the international book publishing group Penguin Random House British operations. In 1995, Baroness Rebuck founded the World Book Day to position reading as an activity that is fun, relevant, accessible, exciting, and one that has the power to transform lives.

This year, as the world celebrates the World Book Day, millions of children from developing communities do not have access to text books because of a lack of resources. The cost of textbooks is a key barrier that prevents children from having access to the learning materials that they need.

The World Book Day advocates for changing lives through a love of books and reading. Sadly, without access to books and learning materials, we cannot change lives. Children must be given access to books and learning materials so that they can develop fully.

According to UNESCO, books are especially relevant to improving learning outcomes in low income communities with large class sizes, a high proportion of unqualified teachers and a shortage of instructional time. Other than engaged and supported teachers, well-designed books in sufficient quantities are the most effective way to improve instruction and learning in the classroom.

A challenge that teachers face – all over the world and in every kind of school – is that there is a gap between where their pupils are performing and where the national curriculum demands that they be. Supplementary literacy and numeracy programmes are essential steps toward bridging this gap.

At Bridge, we provide pupils with supplementary books based on their literacy and numeracy skill needs. This way, our teachers are in a better position to meet the needs of the pupils by teaching the national curriculum and offering instruction that is tailored to improve their literacy and numeracy skills.

Our KCPE revision books have proved to be effective, as evidenced by superior performance in the KCPE exams for the last seven years, where Bridge pupils have consecutively outperformed the national average. KCPE revision books are developed in line with the entire primary level curriculum. The books contain actual KCPE questions tested over the years in each content area in order to provide a thorough KCPE revision experience.

Revision books are aimed at providing pupils with a complete set of learning tools to improve their learning experience. They provide a range of practical activities that empower learners to solve everyday problems by applying their creativity and critical thinking skills.

Technology underpins the Bridge model. It facilitates the innovation necessary to radically transform and improve teaching and classrooms in the developing communities, making education more affordable and accessible.

When governments worldwide closed schools to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus, education providers worldwide had to reimagine the delivery of education. Our digital storybooks came in handy to help children study at home. The books and other online learning resources had extended activities that allowed learning to take place at home hence giving parents or caregivers a chance to contribute to the learning outcomes for their children.

Books play a very crucial role in the realm of teaching and learning for both teachers and children. Teachers need textbooks to help guide what they do in the classroom, while children need textbooks that support their learning experiences.

Studies have shown that children who read books daily score higher in school tests. Books are recognized as core for the Sustainable Development Goal on education, and as such, we must ensure that children have access to books and learning materials. It’s the only way we can change lives through a love of books and reading.