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Teaching the World to Read

EGRA Plus - Liberia report

EGRA Plus: Liberia
Program Evaluation Report

After nearly two decades of civil war Liberia was returned to democracy and a USAID / Worldbank literacy program initiated. It was called "EGRA Plus: Liberia" and contained the Fantastic Phonics reading program. The results were extraordinary.

EGRA Plus program did not simply increase the learning outcomes for children; it dramatically accelerated children’s learning to an extent seldom found (USAID).

The program was used for children and teenagers and adults. Research Triangle Institute, part of the implementation team, writes

"Beginning in 2008, following a World Bank-funded EGRA in Liberia, RTI and the Liberian Education Trust developed and introduced teaching and learning materials, teacher training and support, classroom-based assessment, and strategies to improve time on task.

The evidence-based approach was tested in grades 2 and 3 under a rigorously designed randomized controlled trial (RCT).

The overall EGRA Plus effect size was ... enormous in social science. (USAID)

Results: After 18 months, students in the “full” treatment group outperformed their peers in all reading skills, nearly tripling the gains made by the control group in oral reading fluency and reading comprehension. The full treatment group also increased sevenfold their fluency in reading nonwords (e.g., “wub” in English).

EGRA: Plus had a particularly large impact on improving decoding — the ability to break new words into sounds and link them together — a key to unlock fluency and comprehension.

The full treatment group improved in reading fluency 4.5 times faster and in reading comprehension 5 times faster than the control group, accelerating learning at the equivalent of three years of schooling in one year." It was extended to teenagers (child soldiers returning) and adults, for employment.

Vocational Literacy is part of a worldwide literacy initiative  which distributes a free reading program to developing communities throughout the world.

More than 500,000 children and families have been provided with 'Fantastic Phonics'. 

In Africa, countries such as Liberia and Rwanda are using the program on a national basis. It is spread widely through Africa, Asia, Pakistan and India and is used in more than 90 countries. It is donated as part of a philanthropic enterprise that sees literacy as the most important component of economic progress. Closer to home, Fiji is implementing Fantastic Phonics to an initial 200 schools, with plans to progressively expand to the nation's 700 schools.

Australian Indigenous communities.


The National Indigenous Training Academy (NITA) at Yulara was founded to help Indigenous adults into employment. The Indigenous Land Corporation, which purchased Yulara to establish a centre for Indigenous training, created NITA.

As part of its mandate, the task of NITA is to help increase the numbers of indigenous adults employed from the Mutitjulu community. Vocational Literacy was invited to begin a literacy program, which is ongoing.

Fantastic Phonics presented to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

English Royals receive Fantastic Phonics

In April 2014, the National Indigenous Training Academy (NITA) presented the Fantastic Phonics “Healthy Living” Series books to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, on their Royal visit to Yulara, Uluru and the Academy.

Fantastic Phonics is delighted to have been honoured by both the Mutitjulu community who presented the books, and NITA, to give baby Prince George his first books with Indigenous artwork by Bibi Barba and content depicting Indigenous children in the outback.

Indigenous Literacy

Aboriginal Literacy Foundation logo

Vocational Literacy, in its partnership role with TeachtheWorldtoRead.com,
donates reading programs to 270 Australian schools with Indigenous children.

The 270 schools are found throughout Australia, from Wadeye in the far tip of
Arnhem Land, to the South West top of Western Australia, to the tip of Cape York,
and the Mt Druitt schools of Western Sydney.

We also donate to charities like the Smith Family and Salvation Army and Wesley Mission.