eKitabu participate in the National Read a Book Day
September 8, 2021
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On 6th September 2021 during the Read a Book Day under the theme "share a story" the eKitabu team visited AgaKhan Primary school in Nairobi County to interact with both Mainstream and Deaf students in an inclusive classroom to read Digital Story Time (DST) storybooks. DST is a 25-30 min video program that shares interactive Kenyan Sign Language video storybooks packaged in episodes according to book level. The format is to narrate a story with key vocabulary. DST gives learners Kenyan Sign Language storytelling performed by fluent and highly expressive deaf signers, with ways to customize how information is displayed. For example, when viewing the videos from YouTube, the learner can control playback and pause the video or replay to practice signing. DST also offers auditory information for hearing learners, including narration and music, and it provides text equivalents using captions. Episodes also integrate vivid illustrations. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced over one billion children out of school, requiring governments across the world to develop remote learning options for children. Some students are learning online via video conferencing software such as Zoom, but in low and middle-income countries like Kenya, many students access state-sponsored television programming. For learners who are deaf or hard of hearing, viewing television content without Kenyan Sign Language (KSL) is a frustrating challenge. To address this gap, eKitabu, with support from All Children Reading Grand Challenge for Development, a partnership of USAID, World Vision, and the Australian government, implemented Digital Story Time to make learning to read more inclusive and fair.

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