Google’s ‘Read Along app’ in association with the School Education Department, concluded a ‘reading marathon’. The campaign commenced on June 1 and aimed to ensure that children have a joyful experience while learning to read. It enabled students to read texts in Tamil and English. With the help of an in-app reading buddy, students could get assistance and a few words of encouragement.
The Illam Thedi Kalvi initiative is to promote reading habits among children. Children could read texts in Tamil and English during this large-scale AI-powered reading marathon. Many students visited the Illam Thedi centers throughout the summer holidays to continue reading.
Volunteers in the initiative had the app installed on their phones. They were responsible for creating children’s profiles. K. Elambahavath, Officer on Special Duty, Illam Thedi Kalvi, said, “The children either read from the phones of the volunteers or used the app on smartphones in their homes. Since students already enjoy using smart phones, they enjoyed reading through the app— it felt like an interactive game and the encouragement for getting words right also motivated them.”
The initiative appears to be a successor of a similar volunteer-led program initiated in October 2021 as the most extensive post-pandemic outreach program to address the learning gaps due to COVID-19. This year, the initiative aims to involve AI in teaching reading habits. With massive success, lakhs of students came to read at the centers.
Mr. Elambahavath concluded, “We initiated this digital intervention to promote reading habits among children. As of Saturday, nearly 17.4 lakh students had read over 226 crore words through the app.”