We must take care that children’s early encounters with reading are painless enough so they will cheerfully return to the experience now and forever. But if it’s repeatedly painful, we will end up creating a school-time reader instead of a lifetime reader’ - Jim Release
We read in Bangla and English medium schools, Madrasas and adolescent clubs as well as events and organizations aligned with our mission. Since the beginning we have read in over 40 schools, adolescent clubs and events including the Plan ‘Girls Get Equal’ event, Dhaka Lit Fest, WoW Fest, Terre Des Hommes adolescent clubs, JAAGO schools and many others.
We also do corporate readings for staff and their families to encourage reading as a pass time as well as celebrate female role-models.
Since the publication of HerStories: The Adventures of Supergirls, an illustrated storybook for children about the lives of 20 exceptional Bangladeshi women in 2017, we have sold more than 4,000 copies of the book in English and Bangla and in 2018 brought out a second volume. In 2019 we conducted a baseline survey
testing gender bias in students of class IV and V which showed the prevalence of gender stereotypes:
Some responses stated that girls are expected to focus on parenting and motherhood. Boys are able to start their own businesses and become established in their lives, which girls cannot do, and boys can also live however they want, but girls cannot. One male responded that boys love going out whereas women prefer to stay at home and be housewives.
For many of the responders, these are learned attitudes that they pick up from their immediate environment. HerStory Foundation is looking to change these attitudes by giving alternative role models that break these stereotypes. Our endline survey shows that the stories have a direct positive effect on the world view of young listeners, who begin to think more critically about gender and opportunity.