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The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Acting Administrator Alfonso E. Lenhardt today announced that USAID will soon launch a $5.2 million partnership with Tata Trusts to improve the reading skills of 93,000 primary school children across three states in India.

The project, “Nurturing Early Literacy”, will impact two administrative blocks in Rajasthan, and one administrative block each in Maharashtra and Karnataka.

The partnership will be managed by the Centre for microFinance in Jaipur, and implemented over the next four years in conjunction with four local partner organizations, Room to Read, Bodh Shiksha Samiti, Pragat Shikshan Sanstha, and Kalike. The four partners will use a multi-pronged approach to improve early foundational literary skills with adequate knowledge to teachers, in-class training sessions, and impartial access through primary schools and community libraries.

Announcing this partnership during his visit to the Tata Centre for Technology and Design at the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay, Acting Administrator Lenhardt remarked, “At USAID, we believe by providing finance, harnessing innovation, and fostering the right partnerships, we can optimize resources and achieve results better and faster than ever before. Our exciting new partnership with Tata Trusts will apply this model to the critical, global issue of early literacy. Through the partnership, we will help children in India gain the skills they need to break the cycle of poverty and secure a better future for their families, communities, and country.”

Commenting on the partnership, Mr. R. Venkataramanan, Executive Trustee, Tata Trusts, said, “There can be grave socio-economic and developmental consequences of early reading failure. It also potentially impacts the country’s progress and the collective future of our kids. Challenges of early literary need a very different kind of treatment and training across different levels. Though our partnership with USAID and tie-ups with local partners, we are confident that Tata Trusts will be able to make a difference in the lives of children as well as in their families.”


The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) works to end extreme poverty and promote resilient, democratic societies. USAID is an independent government agency that provides economic, development, and humanitarian assistance around the world in support of the foreign policy goals of the United States. Leveraging India’s growing financial and human resources, USAID is harnessing the strengths and capabilities of both countries to tackle development challenges not only in India, but worldwide. This approach to development is built on leveraging the expertise, innovations, and resources of the United States and India to tackle the most pressing challenges of our day, from infectious diseases to food security and climate change. USAID partners with India to address these and other challenges through the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future, Global Health, and Global Climate Change initiatives. In all sectors of its activities, USAID builds private sector partnerships to foster in-country sustainability and ownership, with a focus on issues such as health, urban water and sanitation, food security, climate change, early grade reading, and women’s empowerment as a cross-cutting issue.

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