Bobby Powers started sharEd for kids last year with the idea that low-income Pre-K classrooms in developing countries could better afford their learning materials and curriculum if the materials were shared or rented by the schools (just like accessing materials from a library) instead of having to pay a large sum to purchase everything they needed for the whole school year.
The idea was that these schools could access the same quality of materials and training as higher end private schools if they were able to bear the cost together. sharEd is a social venture leveraging a rotational library concept to provide low-income preschools with a new themed Pre-K curriculum kit every month.
The team piloted sharEd in Pune, India last year for 4 year olds and had great feedback from the teachers and schools. This year they are trying to add on classrooms at nursery and kindergarten levels.
What our grantee has to say:
"The Libraries Awesome Foundation Grant will be used to sponsor 4 classrooms of 3,4, and 5 year-old Pre-K students at the Shewantabai Dangat Patil English Medium School in Pune, India. The sponsorship will fund the school to participate in the sharEd for Kids Training and Curriculum Innovation Program. As a part of the program, all 4 classrooms will receive a new Themed Kit (for example: Nature Around Me) every month this academic year from sharEd's Library of play-based learning materials, and the teacher's will be enrolled in a monthly training and observation program.
The program will help the school transition from a teaching approach based on rote learning to a developmentally appropriate, activity-based approach using a new curriculum and engaging learning materials. It will benefit approximately 160 Pre-K students this year and advance the skills of 8 teachers and teaching assistants who have no previous training in quality Early Childhood Education methods."
What our trustees have to say:
"I think this is a creative answer to the problem of unaffordable curriculum materials in developing countries. They've already achieved some degree of success and are looking to expand, extended the benefits of affordable educational materials to more students. For an ongoing initiative in a non-Western country, I think this is sustainable and scalable, worthy of our investment."
"This project is supported by a solid and sustainable commitment to early education efforts."
"This really is a great project idea that would benefit so many young students."
Funded by Innovation in Libraries (August 2017)