GC-DWC Haiti Literacy

49% of Haitian students cannot read a single word when they enter the third grade. Frequently, students are left to flounder in a classroom where the official language of instruction, French, is not their mother tongue, Haitian Creole. To complicate matters further, 80% of teachers have not received any form of pre-service training, and over half lack basic qualifications (USAID, 2020). 

Our Approach

In response to these challenges, the GC-DWC Haiti team implemented a scripted, mother tongue literacy curriculum, created by Haitian and international educators with support from USAID in collaboration with the Haitian Ministry of Education, for first and second grade students: M ap li nèt ale (Haitian Creole) and Je parle bien français (French). To further augment the literacy curriculum, the GC-DWC Haiti team developed and added enrichment materials to the school-based program: classroom libraries with culturally relevant, mother-tongue books; summer reading camps led by the school community; and additional tutoring for the lowest-performing students.

Additionally, a robust teacher and school leader professional development program accompanies the literacy program. The professional development program includes residential educator training sessions at key points throughout the school year; professional learning community meetings; monthly coaching and observation visits by supervisors/coaches; and monthly teacher newsletters that share strategies and tips for classroom management and pedagogical best practices. 

Goals, Progress, and Impact

To date, the GC-DWC Haiti team’s literacy program is the most successful literacy program in Haiti. A 2016 randomized control trial of the curriculum revealed statistically significant gains in 7 of the 8 Early Grade Reading Assessment indicators, including a 143% increase in letter recognition and a 49% increase in reading fluency.

Learn more about the impact of the literacy program in Improving Reading Instruction and Students’ Reading Skills in the Early Grades: Evidence From a Randomized Evaluation in Haiti.



  1. Scripted, Mother Tongue Literacy Curriculum: M ap li nèt ale and Je parle bien français are scripted curriculums for Grades 1 and 2 that meet international standards for evidenced-based best practices in literacy instruction. They are designed specifically for Haiti's developmental context and to meet the educational needs of Haitian children. They were created by Haitian and international educators with funding from USAID and have been validated by Haiti's Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training (Ministère de l'Éducation Nationale, et de la Formation Professionnelle).

  2. Ayiti Li Kreyòl (ALiK): The Ayiti Li Kreyòl (ALiK) assessment evaluates the reading performance of students based on vocabulary knowledge, reading comprehension, phonemic awareness, word recognition, and reading fluency. The assessment includes small to long paragraphs with accompanying comprehension questions. 

  3. Improving Reading Instruction and Students’ Reading Skills in the Early Grades: Evidence From a Randomized Evaluation in Haiti

  4. Ana ak Tiga SEL Children’s Book Series: The Ana and Tiga books are a series of children's books contextualized for Haiti. Written and illustrated by Haitian authors and artists, the books pull on Haiti's rich culture while integrating key elements of social and emotional learning. They also include helpful activities for parents and teachers to do with learners at the end of the stories. Books are free to use and download.