Wrigley Company Foundation
What do learning camps and chewing gum have in common? Mint. Uttar Pradesh in northern India is one of the leading mint-producing regions in the world, and it also has one of the highest rates of childhood illiteracy.
In an effort to improve literacy among the mint farmers’ children, Wrigley Company Foundation launched a three-year educational partnership with Pratham in 2013. Their goal? To address the children’s low learning levels that came to light through the nonprofit’s 2012 Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), which measures school enrollment and children’s learning.
“Education is one of the best ways to touch people’s lives,” said Michael Yeung, Wrigley Company Foundation board member and President, Wrigley Asia-Pacific, “and we are happy to create avenues for children in India to learn and grow through this Wrigley Company Foundation/Pratham partnership.”
A pilot project to reach 300 villages in Uttar Pradesh the first year will be scaled up to reach 1,000 villages—and 40,000 children—by year three. Wrigley’s funds allow Pratham to implement their concentrated learning camps, which group children by skill level and use multiple, interactive methods for improved learning and retention.
As part of the partnership, Pratham Books will publish a series of “mint story cards” that illustrate the journey of mint from plant to end-product while teaching children to read.