Early Grade Reading (EGR) Project EGR Training Report

In cooperation with the MOEHE Training Technical Working Group (TWG), EGR developed training modules in the five basic reading skills: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and reading comprehension as well as a comprehensive module in writing skills. The project initially planned to introduce one module at each training session conducted throughout the academic year. However, when EGR learned that the project would close prematurely due to legislative restrictions and funding issues, project staff compressed the trainings on the five basic skills into four over a period of four months. The shortened timeframe did not allow EGR to offer training in the four basic writing skills, but the project developed one comprehensive writing module, which was provided to the coaches in January 2019. EGR supplemented the training modules with additional instructional resources. Project specialists developed three instructional videos to reinforce the strategies introduced in the training modules. Additional activities to support the five basic reading skills were compiled in one resource book. EGR provided four interactive posters for teachers to use in their classrooms and a variety of complementary reading materials. The project’s goal was to equip coaches and teachers with the tools needed to implement a quality early grade reading program.

Early Grade Reading (EGR) Project Complementary Reading Materials

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) Early Grade Reading Project (EGR) cooperated closely with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MOEHE) to provide each student in EGR classrooms with age- and grade-level appropriate reading materials. In March 2018 EGR formed the Materials Development Technical Working Group (TWG) comprised of 10 members from four MOEHE General Directorates: General Education – Kindergarten (KG), Supervision and Educational Qualifications; National Institute of Education and Training (NIET); and Information Technology. The TWG methodically progressed through many stages before the complementary reading materials reached the classrooms: developing a book leveling instrument, inventorying the available books in the schools and in the market, leveling the available books, identifying the gaps, and finally developing and/or purchasing needed reading materials. By project end, EGR had developed or procured over 100,000 titles of leveled readers, decodable readers, big books, and read-aloud books to provide the 104 schools that EGR supports with complementary reading materials for KG-Grade 2 classrooms.

USAID West Bank Early Grade Reading Baseline Report

In partnership with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MOEHE), RTI International administered a baseline assessment of early grade reading skills in April and May 2018. The goal of the baseline assessment was to provide the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) West Bank Early Grade Reading (EGR) activity with a deeper understanding of the pre-literacy, reading, and writing abilities of kindergarten (KG), grade 1 (G1), and grade 2 (G2) students in the formal language of primary school instruction, Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). The baseline assessment also established the values of program performance indicators before the implementation of the EGR intervention, which will subsequently be compared to future values collected at midline and endline timepoints to evaluate the effectiveness of the program. The baseline assessment was conducted with 293 KG students, 1,492 G1 students, and 1,465 G2 students randomly selected and equally divided between girls and boys. The assessment measured the students’ pre-literacy and early grade reading ability and writing skills, including letter sound knowledge, word recognition, oral reading fluency (ORF), listening comprehension, reading comprehension, and writing.

EGR Book Leveling Tool

EGR developed the EGR book leveling tool in cooperation with the personnel from the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MOEHE). In early March 2018, EGR formed the materials development technical working group (TWG) with the participation of ten members from four ministry departments: General Education – KG, Supervision and Qualifications, NIET, and Information Technology). (See Annex A: Materials Development Technical Working Group Members)

West Bank: Review of MOEHE Early Grade Reading Curriculum

This report is part of EGR’s contractual task C.5.1.2: Updated National Standards for Early Grade Reading and Writing Adopted. The review of standards with recommendations for future revisions defines the skills required for students to have a solid foundation in early grade reading and writing. EGR chose to combine the standards report with the curriculum review (C.5.1.3: Opportunities for Strengthening Early Grade Reading and Writing Instruction in the Grade 1-2 Curriculum Identified and C.5.1.4 – Kindergarten curriculum) because the MOEHE has only curricula rather than fully- developed standards. Reviewing the standards documents and curricula together provides a comprehensive picture of the status of KG-Grade 2 instruction in early grade reading and writing.

Early Grade Reading (EGR) Time-on-Task Study Report (Arabic)

Early Grade Reading (EGR) Inventory of NGOs/CBOs

RTI International and our partner AMIDEAST are pleased to submit this Inventory of Non- Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) to the US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) for its Early Grade Reading (EGR) activity. EGR will assist the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MOEHE) to improve early grade reading and writing outcomes. EGR will: • Develop leveled readers, decodables, and supplemental materials and stock these materials in ~3,000 government basic preschool, Grade 1, and Grade 2 classrooms in the West Bank; • Train ~10,000 preschool and Grade 1 and 2 teachers on best practices for literacy instruction; • Mobilize supervisors, coaches, teacher mentors, and school principals to deliver and support early grade teacher coaching and peer learning; and • Foster cooperation of schools, teachers, and communities, drawing on the energy and inspiration from parents, volunteers, and local organizations to support reading enrichment activities.

Early Grade Reading (EGR) Time-on-Task Study Report

Education interventions and decisions should be justified. This time-on-task study is an example of gathering evidence with applicable tools to inform subsequent activities. The study was designed to use direct observations, track the use of time, and conduct interviews to inform Arabic literacy instruction and decisions in the West Bank. The following research questions were generated to guide this line of inquiry conducted by the West Bank Early Grade Reading (EGR) team, in partnership with the MOEHE. • Research Question 1: How much time is allocated in the school day on the school calendar for Arabic instruction? • Research Question 2: How is instructional time used that is designated for Arabic? How much of the lesson focuses on reading/writing? What instructional approach is used? What activities are students involved in? What is their level of engagement? Research Question 3: Which effective literacy instructional pedagogical behaviors are seen? • Research Question 4: In addition to the Arabic lesson, how much time in the school day is the teacher instructing? Does this time focus on instruction in reading, writing, and/or language development? • Research Question 5: What are the barriers to instruction and time on task?

SRGBV Baseline Addendum Report

The US Agency for International Development (USAID)/Uganda Literacy Achievement and Retention Activity (herein referred to as the Literacy Achievement and Retention Activity or Activity) is designed to support the Government of Uganda, through the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES), to improve early grade reading (EGR) skills and retention by strengthening reading instruction, building a positive and supportive school climate for learning, and reducing school-related gender-based violence (SRGBV). Between March and June 2016, the Activity conducted baseline studies for the purpose of testing this hypothesis. Result 1 of the Activity focuses on improved delivery of EGR instruction, while Result 2 focuses on improving the quality of the school climate and eliminating violence in schools. To establish a baseline for Result 1, the Activity carried out Early Grade Reading Assessments (EGRAs) for Grade 1 and Grade 2 pupils. For Result 2, the baseline included Grade 3 and Grade 5 pupils’ experience of SRGBV; pupils’ perception of the school climate; and pupil, school staff, and parent attitudes about gender norms. The EGR study was conducted in March 2016, while the SRGBV assessment and related mediating factors of school climate and gender attitude was conducted between April and June 2016. At the time of the Baseline Report in September 2016 (RTI International), findings from the Result 2 study were not yet fully available. The purpose of this addendum is to report on the Result 2 findings, thus completing the 2016 Baseline Report, which focused primarily on Result 1. In this addendum there are selected summaries of information that are also provided in the 2016 Baseline Report but refer the reader to the 2016 Baseline Study Report for more detailed information on these topics, as needed.

Social and Behavior Change Communication to Increase Parental Engagement in Children's Reading Practice

The USAID/Uganda Literacy Achievement and Retention Activity (LARA) undertook an assessment of an eight-week social and behavior change communication (SBCC) pilot campaign in the Ssekanyonyi Coordinating Center, Mityana district. The purpose of the communication campaign was to improve parent’s engagement in their children’s reading practice at home. To evaluate the campaign’s impact, DLC Consult collected data for the baseline survey in June 2017 and for the endline survey in August 2017. The survey team interviewed 906 parents at baseline and 936 parents at endline.