One of our main focuses at PEPY is on Khmer literacy, and one of the needs we are looking to help fill is the need for more early literacy materials. Last year PEPY looked to partner with organizations which had the funds and resources to develop these books on a large scale. We came across a great program by BETT: a multi-year approach to developing a series of leveled books aimed at Cambodia’s new readers. After Room to Read had a Classroom Library training for their regional teams which included visits to PEPY’s projects funded in partnership with Room to Read, we also began talking about ways to collectively improve access to early literacy materials. At the time, many of the books produced by Room to Read’s Local Language Publishing (LLP) program were story books, but due to a variety of factors, including connecting their LLP team with the great work being done at BETT, Room to Read is now focusing on early literacy books for all of their South East Asia book printing for the next two years! We are really excited about that!
One of Room to Read’s LLP programs is to train creative teams in the countries in which they work, including Cambodia, to write and illustrate locally sourced children’s books. Their newest publication “The Parrot with the Missing Shoes” is not only a beautiful example of a story which is creative and easy to learn from, but it was also written by one of PEPY’s own interns — Thavry Thun. In July, Room to Read invited PEPY staff to join their writing and illustrating workshops and in this workshop several of Thavry’s stories were selected for publication!
We are so proud of Thavry and are looking forward to more great storylines from her in the future.