Watch this Page for CODE Headlines in 2012!
January 23, 2012
There were many milestones that made news at CODE over the past year. Each one represents the combined efforts of people, both in Canada and beyond, who are brought together through their support for literacy and quality education for children and youth. Watch this page for more “CODE Headlines” in 2012!
- CODE’s literary awards program – the Burt Award for African Literature — is quickly becoming the most significant literary prize on the African continent. The first award recipients in Ethiopia were announced in August, 2011. This annual prize, which recognizes excellence in young adult fiction, is also awarded in Tanzania, Ghana and Kenya. So far, 15 high-quality titles (and over 75,000 copies) have been published through the award and this is just the beginning.
- In the fall, CODE celebrated the official launch of the first children’s books in the Reading Liberia collection. Through Reading Liberia, over 100,000 copies of eight titles, all written by Liberian authors and illustrated by Liberian artists, have been distributed in Liberia and Sierra Leone. USAID, a significant donor in Liberia, ordered 35,000 copies. New titles will be published in 2012. Thanks to this popular collection, tens of thousands of children in these post-conflict countries can now read compelling stories that are meaningful to them. For some children, this will represent the first time they hold a book in their hands and turn the pages at their own pace.
- There is a severe shortage of trained teachers in Sierra Leone, a country that is rebuilding an education system and infrastructure devastated during many years of civil war. Through its partnership with the International Rescue Committee, CODE trained close to 100 teachers in 2011 and provided them with over 100,000 much-needed books and learning materials for their classrooms.
- In 2011, over 26,000 Project Love kits of basic school supplies were shipped to Haiti and distributed to students in Les Cayes and Artibonite, two regions where resources are scarce. Many people displaced by the January 2010 earthquake moved there from Port-au-Prince. In 2012, Project Love school supply kits will be sent to Ethiopia.
- With more and more children in primary school, teachers in Africa need learning resources that help them teach reading in large classrooms where the student-teacher ratio can be a high as 80:1. CODE is addressing this acute need through the Pan-African Publishing Project, a collaboration with our affiliate the International Book Bank, that will publish 20,000 Big Books in English, French and four local languages for distribution in 2012 to six African countries. A Big Book makes it possible for every student in the classroom to follow the story and see the engaging illustrations.
- CODE continues to build bridges between educators in North America and Africa. As an organization, CODE places a great emphasis on the sharing of knowledge and best practices. For example, some of the leading experts in literacy and education from North American universities have volunteered their time to support CODE’s programs in developing countries. In 2011, 14 workshops on new reading and writing instruction strategies were held with educators in four countries in Africa. Canadian authors and academics were also involved in the Burt Award for African Literature in various capacities. CODE is very fortunate to have such a great network of volunteers and looks forward to continued collaboration in 2012. Among them is CODE Board Director Jon Shapiro, who in November received the Albert J. Mazurkiewicz Special Services Award for his significant contribution to the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers.
- The second annual CODE Read Africa Ball was held in Toronto in November. This event brought together literacy supporters in great numbers to support CODE’s work in developing countries. Stay tuned to this website for updates on the 2012 Read Africa Ball!
As we look ahead in 2012, I would like to express our appreciation for the ongoing support shown to CODE, without which none of these milestones would have been reached.
Scott Walter, Executive Director