An illustration of a young girl with a plate of food on a table in front of her.
Photo Credit: USAID Okuu Keremet!

Well-supported educators and accessible teaching materials are essential to a quality education for grade-school children. USAID Advancing Nutrition partnered with USAID's Okuu Keremet! to develop more than 20 new books, responding to the need for nutrition-related teaching materials for children in the Kyrgyz Republic. Okuu Keremet! (Learning is Awesome!) is a five-year project focused on improving the quality of reading and math education among 300,000 school students in all Oblasts of the Kyrgyz Republic. In addition to providing training to primary grade teachers, librarians, and school leaders, the project also produces high-quality supplementary learning materials. 

One of the project’s most fruitful initiatives is a recurring workshop called Createkitep (‘kitep’ means ‘book’ in Kyrgyz), where illustrators and authors come together to attend various lectures that help them identify and choose topics of interest for which to create children’s books. Okuu Keremet! recently announced that the project-supported alliance between authors and illustrators finished 100 new electronic books for early grade school children, approved by the Kyrgyz Republic Ministry of Education. Among them, about a quarter ⎯ 12 Russian and 13 Kyrgyz exclusive titles ⎯ were produced with the support from USAID Advancing Nutrition. 

USAID Advancing Nutrition’s technical specialists began collaborating with Okuu Keremet! staff, authors, and illustrators during Createkitep by presenting on the project’s activities and sharing key messages related to nutrition, healthy diets, handwashing, and hygiene. Afterwards, within a span of several months, pairs of illustrators and authors produced 25 books promoting optimal nutrition and hygiene behaviors.

The books are available online on the Kyrgyz Republic Ministry of Education website and on the Bloom library website. Select titles will also be printed and distributed among the Okuu Keremet! project’s target schools nationwide.

Book illustration on nutrition, containing a carrot and cucumber with human-like faces.