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Book Dash aims to address South Africa's literacy crisis by providing very affordable books to young children in under-served communities.

Book Dash

South Africa
Book Dash aims to address South Africa’s illiteracy crisis and provide for healthy early childhood development by flooding the country with books. We use an innovative book-creation model to eliminate most of the costs involved in publishing, so our books can reach those that need them most.
Introduction

Investing in early literacy is investing in the future of South Africa

“"Children who have a book of their own are 15 times more likely to read above the level expected for their age, than those who don't own a book" - National literacy Trust 2017 ”

Book-ownership among South African children is shockingly low – 58% of households don’t own a single leisure book (SABDC, 2016) – and it has lead to equally low literacy levels throughout school and into adulthood. Illiteracy carries a huge cost to the economy (​Gustafasson, 2010​) and reputable, worldwide​ studies​ show that improving access to books for low-income children is a low-cost, high impact way of addressing the problem, but traditional publishing models aren’t designed to create affordable books for all

Book Dash aims to flood the country with books to address South Africa’s illiteracy crisis. We achieve this through our innovative events, known as a Book Dash, that brings together designers, writers, illustrators and editors of the highest quality to produce uniquely South African story books in the space of 12 hours. With this being a volunteer run initiative it eliminates almost all of the publishing costs which allows us, with the help of our partners, to distribute these books into the homes of under-served communities. Working with dedicated partners we translate, print and get these books directly to children and parents across South Africa through various distribution channels.

Our innovative publishing model allows us to print our books at just R10 a copy without compromising on quality. All of our books are made using an open license, that maximises the reach of our books, by allowing anyone anywhere to access our books. Our online library gives access to all of our books as PDF ebooks, as well as PDF print-ready files and audiobooks where they are available.Alternatively our books can be read using our Android app available on google play!

Book Dash have distributed over 430,000 books through our dedicated distribution channel. We partner with organisations working with Early Childhood Development centers mostly in rural areas. This way we can ensure our books are making it into the hands of those that need them most!

Book Dash is a ​registered voluntary association​, non-profit-organisation (145-694 NPO) and public-benefit organisation (PBO 930047958). We issue Section 18a tax-exempt certificates for bona fide donations. We are also a level 1 B-BBEE organisation.


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Innovation Overview
1 - 7
Age Group
-
Children/Users
5
Countries
2014
Established
-
Organisation
105
Views
Tips for implementation
Book Dash have already created a library of 128 storybooks, ready to print. To enable us to get these books into children's homes we need funders who will partner with us to print our books. Our books cost just R10 and as a result our funding partners are always amazed and very pleased with the number of books they receive for their donation.
Connect with innovator
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Media

See this innovation in action

Book Dash Cape Town 2019
Making: Book Dash at the Goethe-Institut
Every book within walking distance of every home: Arthur Attwell at TEDxCapeTown
Book Dash - Free Kids Books - Apps on Google Play
50 of SA's top writers and artists to create new books in 12 hours
Hear from one of the co-founders!

Milestones

Achievements & Awards

Map

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Steps

Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

01
Run your own Book Dash!
Book Dash events, bring together designers, writers, illustrators and editors of the highest quality to create beautiful books in the space of 12 hours.
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02
Print your own books, using our open-licensed content.
Our online library gives access to all of our books as PDF print-ready files. All of our books are made using an open license, that maximises the reach of our books, by allowing anyone anywhere to access our books and print them for their own use.
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03
Feature our books on your platform.
Distributing our online library of 127 books through your platform would mean that we could broaden our reach and ensure our books make it to as many children as possible.
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