Altera partners with Thaki to bring literacy practices via technology to schools in the Middle East.
WAPATO (August 31, 2023) – Two educational nonprofits, Altera (Washington State, USA) and Thaki (headquartered in the Netherlands) will partner to implement online literacy training for families and educators using wordless picture book trainings developed by Altera.
Altera (altera-ed.org), founded in 2000, is located in Wapato, Washington, USA on the tribal and ancestral lands of the Yakama Nation Tribe. Started initially to help rural students aspire, prepare and apply to ambitious programs after high school, Altera’s programming now includes tutoring and mentoring in partner districts’ afterschool for students K-12th grade, family engagement resources and training to empower parents as children’s first teacher and schools’ most valuable partner, and an early childhood in-home, parent-taught K-readiness curriculum developed for parents who could not find Pre-School placements for their toddler.
Thaki (Thaki.org), founded in 2015 is a women-led social impact non-profit organization registered in the Netherlands and Lebanon. Thaki solicits donated and used computer hardware and edtech software, delivering these to schools catering to refugee and vulnerable children in the Middle East. They have provided laptops and programming for 25,000 (and counting) students in sites in Lebanon, Jordan and the UAE, with plans potentially to extend to Morocco, the Palestinian Territories and Turkey, using technology to empower refugee and vulnerable children in remote rural locations to thrive.
In this collaboration, Altera shares a wordless picture book family literacy training that Thaki will load it onto computers in their school sites. The training, currently in English and Spanish, was developed and tested in rural agricultural districts for families reluctant to read to their children in their home language and English. Thaki will translate the materials into Arabic languages, which can then be used to train their teachers in remote sites in the Middle East. Training helps families engage with their children to find meaning using book illustrations, ‘reading’ in the family’s home language, engaging in conversations with their children as they view the pages. Research has shown that in family reading, shared conversations is most impactful for building a child’s critical thinking ability, and acquisition of language. This collaboration helps inform Altera’s programming for new refugee families in Washington State bringing literacy training to other families of various nationalities and home languages.