This Early Literacy Project (ELP) has aimed to address the reading and writing processes of young children who come from sociocultural groups that typically underachieve in school, by attempting to develop culturally and linguistically meaningful teaching materials and methods through sustained and active engagement inside classrooms over an entire academic year. The understanding within ELP is that classroom based learning methods that evolve organically and are grounded in the classroom realities will be meaningful for the children who use them, since they will be sensitive to the linguistic and developmental needs of these children, and also to the social contexts that the children and teachers come from. ELP believes that engagement with these contextualized learning methodologies will lead to increased levels of literacy of children from resource poor and marginalized communities. The Early Literacy Project (ELP) has attempted to take into account the vital connections that exist between the ability of children to read and write and the use of instructional texts and classroom materials that are written and read in ways that are familiar and meaningful to the children. Work within the ELP project has been taken up at two levels..
Sir Ratan Tata Trust (SRTT), through its Early Literacy Initiative, supports curriculum development, field-level pedagogy and research in the area of literacy learning in Indian languages. A proposal has been submitted to SRTT by Organisation For Early Literacy Promotion (OELP), New Delhi, for the continuation in Kishengarh Block of Ajmer district in Rajasthan of interventions that introduce meaningful teaching methods and facilitative classroom environments for literacy learning in young learners from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. SRTT has previously supported similar OELP interventions in selected schools of the Municipal Corporation, Delhi (MCD) and more recently the Bal Sahyog Kendras (BSKs) in Ajmer District which are ongoing. The new project proposal is for the period 2012-2015. The SRTT has requested Ms. Zakiya Kurrien to appraise the proposal, review OELP’s current work and material, and make recommendations to strengthen the proposal and OELP’s activities on the ground.