How did we start to level our books and our partnership with Hippocampus

Hippocampus

Our library in India is a basement at Madhu’s parents house in Kalyan Nagar, Hyderabad. It contained more than 10000 books that were shipped over the years. We were supplying books to schools based on our scheme of levelling books of increasing difficulty. They were graded level 1 to level 6. There was no standard algorithm there but based on the experience gained. We ran our library  (and infact still run) using the help of very many volunteers either part of friends or family. With a varied combination of help, the organisation and sorting of the books was not the best as there was not a perfect algorithm in sorting the books. When schools asked for books a mixed supply of books were donated based on the understanding of requirement qualitatively.  The other thing that we also noticed is that since our target beneficiaries were government schools and organisations with children run by non profits, these children were from a low income background whose experience with the English language was still in the nascent stages. At this stage we were thinking what would be the best books to send to schools and if there is a standard way we could follow to send books to school that will help improve their reading experience. At this time we visited our partner India Literacy Project (ILP) and were interested to learn that they have books sorted based in the GROW BY Reading program from Hippocampus.in. We got an understanding what this means exactly. The details of the program can be read here @ GrowByReading The GROW BY reading program by Hippocampus
focusses on increasing reading levels irrespective of the grade a child belongs to. It has helped work in rural areas and for children studying in non-English medium schools. It’s a levelling solution that levels both children and books and matches them, and progresses irrespective of the  grade level of a child. This system was mainly targeted at schools run in rural Karnataka where mostly the children are the first generation to be exposed to English. It seemed logical and we heard success tories both from ILP and Hippocampus (later)  themselves. From then on JoR shifted to the GROW BY Levelling system .

This was also the juncture where we were wondering how we could get in touch with the organisation Hippocampus themselves and we did soon get an opportunity. As we were put in touch to supply books to Remand Home Bengaluru under the Govt of Karnataka we got the introduction to the founder of Hippocampus Umesh ! They were interested in our partnership and we supplied in May 2018 a total of  2500 books of all levels for their newly started primary schools in Karnataka, India.