ILOILO —Patrick Tang, an engineer of Amazon.com, and his team brought 30 units of Kindle e-readers here to equip selected poor pupils with better educational tools.
“We are happy to provide these Kindle devices to underprivileged children to fulfill this tenet and to help them aim higher in life, beyond their present circumstance and be a blessing to others,” Tang said in a statement.
The device enables the pupils to download, browse and read e-books, newspapers, magazines and other digital media via internet.
The donation is part of Project Mustard Seed that aims to empower the disadvantaged with a safe, long term and sustainable platforms or solutions.
The end goal is to increase the literacy of children through quality education and break the cycle of poverty.
Tang believed that “literacy is transformative: it increases ones potential, decreases inequality, improves health outcomes and breaks the cycle of poverty”.
For instance, if reading proficiency is not attained by pupils on the third grade, there is a possibility that those pupils will discontinue, he said citing the 2014 study of US Ministry of Education.
That study showed that children who are reading below proficiency upon entering the fourth grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school later.
He also mentioned the World Reader’s iRead2 Study conducted from 2012 to 2014 that illustrate the advantages of using electronic readers among pupils.
The study compared 500 students (grades 1 to 3) who were exposed to an iRead program with e-readers to a control group with no e-readers.
Results were evaluated by an early grade reading assessment after 1.5 years and found that:
- 41% of iRead students could read above 45 correct words per minute compared to 13.4% in the control group
- 9% of iRead students could read above 60 correct words per minute compared to only 6.1% in the control group
- There were positive reading habits for iRead students completing nearly 2.89 books a day vs. 0.69 books for the control group
“Not only were their substantial gains in reading fluency and comprehension for kids with e-readers but their desire to read increased dramatically as they had access to richer content. Our prayer is for teachers to build on this success with kids right here in Iloilo,” he said.