U.S. Ambassador Elisabeth Millard joined First Deputy Minister of Education and Science Rahmatullo Mirboboev, local education officials, and teachers in kicking off a massive book donation campaign to commemorate World Book Day. Ambassador Millard and First Deputy Minister Mirboboev awarded prizes to winners of a reading competition among school children at the event.
World Book Day aims to improve children’s access to books and to inspire a love of learning and literacy. It is the biggest worldwide celebration of books and reading and is observed in more than 100 countries all over the world.
To mark the day, the U.S. government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), donated 212,000 books for school children in grades 1-4 to over 1,800 public schools throughout Tajikistan. This donation is the first of two phases of books that will be donated by the U.S. embassy to Tajik public schools in 2016.
The United States is a steadfast partner with the Tajik government in the education sector. USAID has been working closely with the Tajik Ministry of Education and Science (MOES) throughout the process of selecting, writing and distributing the books. All of the donated books have been approved by the MOES.
In the coming month, more than half of Tajikistan’s public schools will receive packets of 116 age-appropriate books, some of which were written and illustrated by local authors and artists directly funded by USAID. USAID also conducts training sessions for librarians on best practices for establishing and maintaining circulating lending libraries, engaging children in reading using the books provided, and leading literacy-based community outreach workshops.
The USAID Quality Reading Project is one of the many assistance projects made possible by the American people through USAID. Since 1992, the American people have provided over $1 billion in programs and humanitarian aid that support Tajikistan’s democratic institutions, health care, education system, and economic growth.