The Safaricom Foundation has partnered with Storymoja Publishers for a reading challenge to mark the Day of the African Child.

Early this year, over 200,000 students from schools across the country took part in the challenge. The challenge entailed reading text from Attack of the Shidas, a life skills story that uses science fiction to teach ethnic tolerance to children.

In June 2015, the Storymoja Read Aloud team led 229,043 children in 1,097 schools across 44 counties. The exercise set a national record and unofficially overtook the world record of most people reading the same text at the same time in multiple locations.

The current Guinness World Record for Most People Reading Aloud from the Same Text at the Same Time in Different Venues is 223,363 participants in 909 venues across the United States of America.

Safaricom Foundation supported the initiative through its literacy and numeracy program. So far, the program has provided a steady improvement in reading skills in the three counties it has been implemented. Over 4,500 learners in Grade 3 to Grade 5 have benefitted from the Accelerated Learning Program being implemented in partnership with Zizi Afrique Foundation through literacy and numeracy camps.

The three counties in which the program has been implemented are Bungoma, Turkana and Tana River counties. On the grassroots level, the program is aimed at supporting learners to acquire foundational literacy and numeracy skills within a short period of time. Each County has 40 schools participating in the program.

The Storymoja Read Aloud initiative was born in 2013 to promote reading culture among Kenyans. Through this initiative, Storymoja has been changing the reading culture by motivating children to read for pleasure, become imaginative and creative, and mold their own futures.