Beyond Borders: How Snapplify and Scholastic Are Addressing Local Literacy Challenges in Africa

by wrich
Editorial & Advertiser disclosure

Literacy is the foundation for all learning and a key building block for a functional, successful society. Increasing access to books and educational resources, and building a culture of reading are also essential to addressing the education crisis in many areas of the world. Snapplify and Scholastic – two leaders in the education space – are working closely to deliver integrated literacy intervention tools to schools.

Making Learning Accessible

English teacher Kerry-Anne Bouwer is a firm advocate that access to a wide range of media and data helps her students to achieve results. “As teachers, we are all advocates for creating a love of reading. Learners find reading more enjoyable when they read books which are suitable for their own individual reading level. This also builds their confidence,” Bouwer said from her classroom at Curro Brackenfell Primary School in South Africa, where she and her fellow educators are pushing the boundaries of blended learning to build reading skills, support teachers and develop learning strategies through multiple lockdowns and a tricky back-to-the-classroom period.

Their solution? A combination of blended and digital learning. The role of e-learning in the provision of ebooks and digital tools can be a real game-changer for schools – for a number of reasons, not least of which is increased accessibility to content as well as time-saving technology for teachers and students. “From a teacher’s perspective, e-learning is important because we need to work smarter and not harder. We can use e-learning tools for our benefit,” Bouwer said.

Widely known for its award-winning e-learning and e-reading solutions, Snapplify has been aggregating and distributing Scholastic ebooks since 2017, to ensure the widest reach for the Scholastic catalogue on the African continent. As part of its commitment to empower schools and students with the digital tools and content they need to succeed, Snapplify partnered with Scholastic in 2020 to deliver the Scholastic Literacy Pro program to the African market.

Scholastic has drawn on decades of research to develop Literacy Pro, an innovative reading assessment and motivation tool that makes it easy to quickly and accurately measure each individual student’s reading comprehension level using the Lexile Framework. Thanks to the deep integration of Literacy Pro into the Snapplify Engage platform, when students take the LitPro Test, an online adaptive reading assessment, they are provided with book recommendations in the Snapplify Engage e-library, matched to each child’s individualised Lexile level. After reading each book, students complete short quizzes and are rewarded with points that earn certificates in the program. To ensure student comprehension and growth, Literacy Pro provides educators with instant access to key data to monitor performance and identify gaps.

“With Snapplify and Literacy Pro, I am able to have learners take quizzes independently. I don’t have to set quizzes or ask questions – all those tools are at my disposal. It’s convenient and I can access that information and the data any time I need to. Using Literacy Pro tests and assessments have been invaluable to me as a teacher. It opens up a dialogue with the parents: I can say now that this is an objective test. We have a concrete measure of what the children are understanding,” said Bouwer.

Literacy for All

Rather than struggling through a book that is too challenging and difficult, and finding reading frustrating and potentially demotivating, students are matched to titles at just the right level for their individual Lexile level. This provides access to books they will find challenging enough to grow as readers, but not so difficult that they are discouraged from reading, keeping them engaged and excited about their education.

“We’ve really valued the accessible technology that Snapplify offers educational institutions to give more students access to essential materials. Being able to deliver integrated literacy intervention tools to schools is really important to us.

“Snapplify’s strong relationships with schools and the quality of their products align with Scholastic’s mission to enrich the lives of all children with the joy and power of reading. Together, our programs can easily be delivered in the classroom or at home, creating a new generation of confident and lifelong readers,” said Zahid Khokhar of Scholastic.

“Snapplify is committed to providing learners and educators with access to digital resources, so we’re especially proud to add Scholastic’s Literacy Pro to their toolset. Helping young people find books that they can read and want to read has a huge effect on their academic life and later, on their place in society as informed citizens.

“By integrating our e-library with Scholastic Literacy Pro’s powerful capabilities, we can help schools to boost literacy and build reading confidence, scientifically and strategically,” said Wesley Lynch, Snapplify’s CEO.

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