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Education Worldwide

Children Helping Children


Children learn from their peers, and most often from their older brothers and sisters while interacting with each other. And older children like to share what they know with the young ones and take care of them. Arguably, this seems to be one of the most natural forms of transmitting skills and knowledge. The project Getting Ready for School takes advantage of this fact in order to promote literacy skills.

As the programme name implies, children attending primary schools help younger children “Getting Ready for School“. In a couple of countries, not all children come to school at the right age. Also, not all children coming to school are well-prepared. Hence, the programme seeks to promote early literacy skills using a child-to-child-approach.

Primary school students help preschool children to

  • listen and tell stories
  • sing songs and rhymes
  • talk about things they see, think and feel
  • make books and read together
  • recognize letters
  • count by using everyday objects
  • sort and group objects by color, size and shape
  • play number games
  • by using games and activities.

The programme makes appropriate learning material and objects available through participating schools. Instructions on how to use these materials and how to perform certain activities come along prepared for facilitators, teachers and kids.

Teachers help the older children with their tasks to teach the younger ones at home or at a school-based location. Sessions take place weekly. Meanwhile, the older children improve their very own reading and literacy skills, too. Families are encouraged to engage with this programme at home or by visiting the school for special events.

The programme started in 2007 as a collaboration between UNICEF and the Child-to-Child trust (Institute of Education, University of London). Currently, the programme supports communities and schools in Bangladesh, China, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Tajikistan and Yemen.

An evaluation (link to PDF) found the programme successful in most countries and was very well received among stakeholders.

Image: Screenshot taken from video. Video with courtesy of Child-to-Child trust.