Sesame Workshop Initiatives India Wins Award At All Children Reading- A Grand Challenge For Development

Learn to Read – Read to Learn by Sesame Workshop will reach 200 schools and almost 100,000 children in Bihar

The innovation – Learn to Read- Read to Learn by Sesame Workshop Initiatives India(SWIIPLC)was announced a winner by USAID, AusAID and World Vision at the All Children Reading – A Grand Challenge for Development a global competition for Innovative solutions to advance reading and literacy. Learn to Read- Read to Learnwas among thirty-two innovations that were selected from 450 applications for grant financing of activities to address illiteracy in more than 20 countries.

SWIIPLC’s Innovation: Learn to Read – Read to Learnwill be implemented in 200 rural and urban schools, covering approximately 90,000 children and 1,800 teachers in Bihar. It is a known fact that literacy plays a vital role in fostering development and growth. In India, most children have no access to age-appropriate content other than textbooks and teachers do not have adequate capacities for delivering differentiated teaching methodologies. In fact, the current assessments do not measure essential reading skills. The most recent Annual Status of Education Report (ASER 2011) identified that by the time primary grade children reach Grade 4 and 5 they lag behind in reading skills. This is where SWIIPLC ‘s innovation: Learn to Read – Read to Learn will play a critical role.

The Learn to Read – Read to Learninnovation integrates proven multi-sensory (visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic) approaches, engaging classroom content (story pond, word walls and fluency workbooks), and ultra-low cost tablets to improve reading skills in Hindi and English. Teachers in participating schools will be trained through “Learn It Live” a training platform and pocket (PICO) projectors aimed at inculcating skills to promote fluency and comprehension and managing children with severe reading difficulties.

Sashwati Banerjee, Managing Director, Sesame Workshop Initiatives India PLC, on winning the award said,“We are truly delighted with the award. Galli Galli Sim Sim(The Indian adaptation of Sesame Street) has demonstrated that children exposed to the multi media content show improved scores across a variety of domains including literacy, health and hygiene and school readiness. Today when digital platforms are playing a critical mode to learning, The award provides us with an opportunity to explore, collaborate and build evidence to help with our overall mission of helping all children reach their highest potential.”

Over the years SWIIPLC has been building links between media old and new. TheLearn to Read – Read to Learninnovation is inspired by SWI’s success with low-cost technological innovations using smart phones, a radio and telephony combination called Radiophone and an Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) system across a wide variety of outreach interventions that it has successfully implemented since 2006.

To watch the webcast of the event click here and see photos from the event here.

For further information please contact:
Ms Shobha Kapoor:


About All Children Reading
“All Children Reading” is a partnership effort by USAID, World Vision, and the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) to catalyze cost-effective innovations to promote literacy among children in the primary grades in the developing world.

The Grand Challenge is a global competition to find innovative solutions to advance children’s reading, particularly in low and lower-middle income countries. Through the Grand Challenge, USAID, AusAid and WorldVision are mobilizing resources to gather new ideas, engage new organizations and people, and advance innovative solutions from around the world.

The All Children Reading Grand Challenge is an important element to help USAID reach the goal of improving the reading of 100 million children.

About Sesame Workshop India
Sesame Workshop India, the organization behind Galli Galli Sim Sim, uses the power of the media to help children reach their highest potential. It develops and distributes high quality and engaging content through television, radio, community radio, print, digital and outreach, to reach children aged 0-8.  It’s content aims to facilitate young Indian children’s basic academic and life skills, while celebrating India’s rich cultural diversity, in order to promote their overall cognitive, socio-emotional and physical development. Galli Galli Si Sim, the television series, has been watched by 10 million children each year since its debut in 2006 and is currently broadcast on two of India’s leading children’s channels, Pogo and Cartoon Network. Its educational messages are extended through a radio program aired on All India Radio and community radio stations, extensive community outreach, and applications on new and emerging media such as cell phones and internet.  Recently SWIhas entered the school education space through the launch of Sesame Schoolhouse whose curriculum and methodology integrates hands-on project-based learning, with creative approaches to foster critical thinking and problem solving, laying a strong foundation to promote lifelong learning. For more information on all log on to and

About GalliGalliSimSim
GalliGalliSimSim (GGSS) is a multi platform educational initiative by SWI, for children aged 0-8 years and their caregivers. GGSS is based on a whole child curriculum comprising of five key areas of early childhood development – cognitive learning, social, emotional and physical development and cultural diversity. GGSS’smission is to create innovative, engaging content that maximizes the educational power of media to help all children understand and work towards fulfilling their highest potential. The goal is to improve the quality of early childhood educational inputs for Indian children.

SWI’sprimary target age is early childhood (0-8 yrs) with a focus on preschool age children (2-5 yrs) but also ranging up to 12 yrs in some cases. In conjunction with their work focusing on children, they also recognize the important role of parents and usually target them with materials and communication. In addition, they seek to increase the profile and value of early childhood education among community members and the general public.Over the past two years, SWI has distributed educational materials to over 6,500 preschools in 8 languages in 6 large metro cities in India, reaching over 2,00,000 children and their caregivers.

  • They broadcast a television show that reaches over 11 million children each year, helping them become more school-ready. Their mobile community viewing activity ran in 4 cities, reaching hundreds of thousands of children and their caregivers.
  • Provided capacity building through training and technical assistance to their partners and staff. Research on their various programs indicate that exposure to Galli Galli Sim Sim increases literacy and math skills and improves hygiene and nutrition knowledge and attitudes.

About Sesame Workshop
Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization that revolutionized children’s television programming with the landmark Sesame Street. The Workshop produces local Sesame Streetprograms, seen in over 150 countries, and other acclaimed shows to help bridge the literacy gap including The Electric Company. Beyond television, the Workshop produces content for multiple media platforms on a wide range of issues including literacy, health and military deployment. Initiatives meet specific needs to help young children and families develop critical skills, acquire healthy habits and build emotional strength to prepare them for lifelong learning. Learn more at