Imagine if you looked at this page, saw the words but had no idea what the letters and words meant?
The creative team behind Busy Izzy and Friends, author and songwriter, Roxanne Kiely and songwriter / producer, Stephen Kiely, believe that being able to read, and having access to books is a fundamental necessity for children all over the world.
To help children read in Australia and in countries far, far away from Australia, Roxanne and Stephen became partners and sponsors of the World Literacy Foundation.
What is the World Literacy Foundation?
The World Literacy Foundation is a global not-for-profit that works to lift young people out of poverty through the power of literacy. It's motto is:
"Knowing how to read and write can break the cycle of poverty".
At the launch of Book One in the series, "Busy Izzy and Friends", World Literacy Foundation CEO, Andy Kay spoke of the relationship between the World Literacy Foundation and Roxanne and Stephen:
"On behalf of the World Literacy Foundation, I’d like to acknowledge Roxanne and Stephen for the wonderful first book that they’ve developed. It’s really a privilege to be involved with it. I think it’s fantastic that they’ve decide to link the initiative with the World Literacy Foundation."
Andy continues, "We’re using the books to distribute to a variety of low-income families and indigenous communities around Australia. I guess many of you kids have lots of books at home, but in some homes around Australia, kids don’t have books, and books are so important for development during those early years.
So the Busy Izzy books that we have, we’re distributing this Christmas actually, through single mum groups and play groups in disadvantaged communities right across Australia.
On behalf of the World Literacy Foundation, I’m happy to acknowledge Stephen and Roxanne for this wonderful book with music that they’ve produced. It’s a unique product, as it brings together words in rhyme and rhythm.
It is a fantastic product and I fully endorse it, on behalf of the organisation. It really is just a privilege to have this wonderful friendship and association in this, and I really look forward to the next nine books, so thank you, Roxanne and Stephen."
The Busy Izzy project has been cited in the World Literacy Foundation's Annual Report 2015-16 in reference to the partnership between the WLF and Roxanne and Stephen:
Download a PDF copy of the World Literacy Foundation Annual Report 2015-16
More recently, the Busy Izzy books and accompanying songs and narrations, have been featured in an exciting new initiative by the World Literacy Foundation, the "Sun Books" project. Now, children in countries where books are hard to come by, are able to increase their knowledge of the English language, as well as cultural customs of Australia, and the valuable and enjoyable understanding of friendship and co-operation which pour out of the Busy Izzy stories, in solar-powered tablets full of informative, educational and fun-filled apps.
The Sun Book is a 10-inch Android device with 16GB storage. It measures 242 x 189 x 10mm and weighs 680g.
Content in both Swahili and English has come from partnerships with several local children’s book publishers (including Busy Ink, the publisher of the Busy Izzy series). So teachers can teach and children can learn using local, culturally relevant books and resources.
With your support, the aim is to provide one Sun Book tablet for each classroom. The teacher can use the resources on the device to help devise lesson plans. Children can read books on the device or complete assessments as set by the teacher.
The World Literacy Foundation designed and developed the Sun Book tablet over the last 3 years. This was in response to the urgent need for more textbooks and teaching resources in millions of classrooms throughout the world’s poorest regions.
Roxanne and Stephen look forward to bringing more Busy Izzy books, songs, apps and learning modules to children all over the world, in conjunction with the World Literacy Foundation.