Varzob, Tajikistan, September 27, 2019 – In recognition of International Literacy Day, the United States Ambassador to Tajikistan, John Mark Pommersheim, joined Deputy Minister of Education and Science Fathiddin Usmonzoda, local authorities, education officials, teachers, and students to celebrate this global event in Varzob district.  International Literacy Day events are being held across the country as part of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) primary grade literacy program in Tajikistan.

The Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Tajikistan partners with the U.S. government to boost primary grade reading skills through the USAID “Read with Me” project.  School communities work to improve reading outcomes for students in grades one through four in Tajikistan by improving access to age-appropriate reading materials, by training teachers and other educators in up-to-date reading instruction methodologies, and by integrating technology-based innovations in reading.  The USAID Read with Me project donated 614,900 high-quality, age-appropriate, and culturally relevant children’s books to 2,800 schools across Tajikistan to support those efforts.

The donation of children’s books to schools creates an environment that supports a stronger reading culture.  The project supports schools with practical guidance on organizing reading activities and encourages greater involvement of parents and communities in extracurricular and home reading sessions.  Improved reading skills can help students succeed in all school subjects.                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

USAID values its strong partnership with the Government of Tajikistan in the education sector.  USAID works closely with the Ministry of Education and Science throughout the process of selecting, writing, and distributing the books.  

The USAID Read with Me project is one of the many assistance projects made possible by the American people through USAID.  Over the last 27 years, the United States has provided over $1.8 billion in programs that support Tajikistan’s security, democratic institutions, social sector, and economic growth.