SIL LEAD is Announced as Winner of the Book Boost Challenge!

SIL LEAD is Announced as Winner of the Book Boost Challenge!

Do you like to read?

The World Health Organization estimates that there are thirty-nine million people in the world who are blind, and two hundred forty six million who have low vision. That is a lot of people who must rely on other gifts as they explore and interact with the world. Just imagine, for a moment, that you are one of that two hundred forty-six million people for whom accessing the information and ideas that can be found in books often requires extra effort...

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"Oh, the Places You'll Go!" - Dr. Seuss

"Oh, the Places You'll Go!" - Dr. Seuss

Do you remember when you first realized that the world was much, much larger than your home, your neighborhood, or your city? Most likely it took a while, as over time you made new friends and saw new places. With each new experience, your world began to expand.

For SIL LEAD Director of Community-Based Programs Clare O’Leary, that process was accelerated by circumstance...

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Numbers That Count

Numbers That Count

“Numbers have life; they’re not just symbols on paper.” – Shakuntala Devi

To a layperson, SIL LEAD board member Samantha Custer’s work as the director of Policy Analysis at AidData may seem a bit esoteric—involving, as it does, reams of data and endless number-crunching. But Samantha’s analysis functions as a sort of GPS for aid work, ensuring that when policymakers and relief organizations seek to address global problems, they can do so with precision.

Samantha Custer was born in St. Asaph, Whales – the second-smallest city in Britain. When Samantha was four years old, her family emigrated to Connecticut...

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What Justine May Not Realize...

What Justine May Not Realize...

When you’re nine years old, new school assignments of any kind can be groan-inducing. This is as true for kids in rural Uganda as it is in suburban U.S.A.

Justine Kagoya, a primary four student in Uganda whose school has shifted its emphasis to local language learning, is quoted in an article in The Observer as being concerned over the difficulty she may face when she shifts to English-based learning later in life (in Uganda, English is the language of commerce).

Of course, not all students feel that way -- Nicholas Odeke, a student at the Kirinya Church of Uganda primary school, is quoted in that same article as saying, “Some of the English words are hard... teaching us in our local languages will help us understand more” -- but it’s easy to see where Justine is coming from...

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The Next Black Panther

The Next Black Panther

The superhero extravaganza Black Panther is not only the first big-budget superhero movie led by black stars (and easily the most financially successful), it is also quickly becoming a rallying point for African Americans as they remember their rich cultural heritage. As full of out-of-this-world special effects as it is, this extravagant Hollywood story is helping people connect with their own, real-life stories. And in the West African country of Benin, a group of local professionals and students are working on a project to help preserve their  stories in written form...

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How to Be a Great Teacher

How to Be a Great Teacher

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” -- William Arthur Ward

You’d have to ask SIL LEAD literacy consultant Diana Weber’s former and current students and writers to know for sure where she falls on that spectrum. But anyone who speaks with her for long is likely to suspect that she was and is a great teacher...

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“We downloaded the Andika font. It solved all our problems!”

“We downloaded the Andika font. It solved all our problems!”

Youtube is full oflife hack” videos that show simple, unexpected solutions to problems you didn’t know you had. Need to speed-cool a beverage? Wrap a wet paper towel around it and put it in the freezer. Not particularly coordinated? Use a clothespin to hold the nail while you hammer it. The list goes on and on, but the principle is always the same: sometimes all it takes to solve complicated problems is to look at them in a different way...

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How to Fight Child Stunting - One Language at a Time

How to Fight Child Stunting - One Language at a Time

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim has said that “Children who are stunted have up to 40 percent less brain volume by the time they get past their first 1,000 days.”

How well do you think you would have done with forty percent less brain volume?

Again, malnutrition affects over twenty percent of children in the world today. That’s roughly the equivalent of the entire population of the United States—a huge problem.

One of the barriers to addressing this problem is language, as a high percentage of the children affected by malnutrition live in indigenous communities where the primary language is different than the that of the culture at large. How do you educate parents about the vital importance of early nutrition in their children’s development if they’re not proficient in the language in which that sort of information is available?

Problems this big can seem insurmountable. But there is hope...

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