BigPen Program - Kenya

BigPen Program

  • Background

ESF Early Reading Program brings parents and teachers from different schools together to learn and share Education21 skills in free workshops through Kenya. BigPen adapted the Education21 early reading skills from the peaceflame network.

In the recent times , BigPen Association is now more than a community of schools that only study and practice Early Reading.BigPen works with a reason of sharing ideas on solving common challenges for the safe interest of member schools, teachers , children and parents.

  • The most powerful statement -Dr Robert Bob Zenhusern

A child learns the meaning of the spoken word "cat" before the child can say the word "cat". It is a simple and easy task and children learn many words before they can say them. If that is so, why does it take 5 years for the child to learn the written word "cat" means the same thing? The only reason is the way we teach reading --- letter and sound. Early Reading teaches reading by the word, not the letter, and children can learn to understand the spoken word and written word simultaneously.

  • Membership Schools and Teachers

Active registered members to BigPen Association are directors , headteachers , teachers and parents of schools with the following specifications.

  1. The school should be offering daycare ,preschool and lower primary educational and care services.
  2. The school is requested to allow BigPen Association to confidentially collect data on the progress of reading scores,other member schools to access reading videos and pictures free of charge as a documentary of the effectiveness of Early Reading Skill.
  3. The school should subscribe a Ksh. 3,000 membership Registration fee in the first year and renew yearly subscription fee of Ksh. 400 once every other year. Individual teachers register with Ksh. 350 for the first year and a renew of Ksh. 100 every other year.
  4. A school should pay registration fee to be introduced to (ESF),Early Reading (ER),BigPen, GoShare Sacco , recent updated Office 365 apps and shantideep account. No more charges apart from registration and yearly subscription.
  5. Once registered, any school will be able to access free training workshops, free videos and free pictures, free Kusoma app, free Kadiria app ,free consultation services , free teacher supervision and guidance,free school monitoring of staff and free guidance in material and teaching professional documents development.
  6. Upon reading and understanding objectives of benefit of the membership at the BigPen, terms and conditions on this pages, the school Director or Headteachers is asked to send all preschool teachers to free workshops to the nearest Early Reading Site.
  • How to register

Send a text with your name starting with the word REGISTER to either;Phone number 0742-840-115 (Or email; For example , if your name is DARIUS , then your first text should simply look like this :-- " REGISTER DARIUS AT BIGPEN " . A reply notification to your text will typically be quick in less than five minutes to guide you on how to register to the BigPen Association .

Benefits to members( parents, teachers,headteachers, schools and directors) This section justifies why you will benefit as a BigPen member teacher or school .n the following ways;

  1. You can get a soft loan of between 2% to 5% interest if you are a member in BigPen GoShare Sacco . Your loan limit increases as you proceed borrowing and paying back the loan on time .
  2. All member attend Early Reading workshops for free .
  3. Free consultancy services to member Schools and Day Cares. They can ask for advice for help to their record keeping, simple balance sheet and financial statements without any charges .
  4. Job opportunities. BigPen is growing and it is in need of people to work within nearly every Early Reading Site. Members Schools , parents and teachers are considered first, before hiring non-members .
  5. To start and develop sustainable and reliable projects.
  6. Offer free financial literacy through capacity building trainings workshops and free trial practice.
  7. BigPen inform teachers on available teaching vacancies among schools.
  8. Promote quality basic education by advocating for E21 learning skills.
  9. Network with like minded partners schools to supporting solving challenges like feeding program, staffing and other emerging dynamics.
  10. Supply BigPen Exams at wholesale price to all member schools.
  11. Updating all member schools on current issues that need attention in the education sector.


BigPen expectation and request is that each teacher or schools to;

  1. √ Register as a school or a teacher
  2. √ Volunteer to market of Early Reading to new schools.
  3. √ Help BigPen develop Early Reading Data upon request.
  4. √ Download recent free office 365 apps and GoToMeeting application to be able to interact with other ESF Early Reading volunteers globally.
  5. √ Buy BigPen products such as exams,energy saving jikos , learning cards, BigPen Revision Booklets to promote the BigPen Association.
  6. √Join BigPen GoShare Sacco at your own will.
  7. √ Share your reactions that will help BigPen improve quality if service and products in form of questions, suggestions, opinions or inquiry through our key contacts at the end bellow this page.
  • Staffing and Leadership.

BigPen operates with volunteer probono guides as staff in the field to reduce budget on salary and motivation. However the project staff in our projects are paid on commission to encourage them to work more for get more pay . Each task team has a lead guide who markets and get percentage motivation in a mutual agreement . This helps the BigPen Site hosting Early Program to be motivated depending on the results of their efforts.

  • Replication Outreach Approach

BigPen Association have succeeded in its attempt to bring all like minded schools together starting from day care centers, Preschools and Lower Primary Schools . Each schools is asked to reach other three more new schools and introduce the schools to Early Reading and BigPen Association. The teachers which reaches new director of schools are awarded in each meeting to motivate all efforts and commitment. Any one member school is a friend to the rest. This is a sign of genuine friendship at BigPen . BigPen Association continuously calls for all friends to come together and have one voice. The power of pulling all little efforts together makes a different each day. Some come with friends,some come with teachers or new schools . Others give useful rich ideas ,prayers and encouragement .

  • Source of Funding

Our current resource are limited. Our annual budget quotes far more than our current avenues of financial resource. The main source of funding at this time is Schools Registration fee(Ksh. 3,000) and yearly subscription fee (Ksh. 400 once per year) and BigPen Assessment Series . We are still busy thinking and establishing other sources of funds projects within the host BigPen Centers.Registration and subscription fee alone can not support all the activities in at BigPen such as paying of trainers and expansion self sustainable projects. We are still trying to reach out to willing investors . There is need to find better ways of sourcing more funds by such as occasional fundraising, donations from well wishers and sustainable economic activities . At this moment , BigPen does not have any sponsor yet.

  • Sensitization and Advocacy

BigPen is sensitizing the grass root Africa through ESF Guides by the word of mouth . Word of mouth is the cheapest and most convenient outreach tool . They reach out to more schools, teachers parents, children and area education officers Our genuine registered field guides are;

  • Expansion

We need improve the professional efficiency of our staff . We ask for more help on training and capacity building. It will take time,but with consistency,we shall realize all these expansions. Our Early Reading Sites in Nairobi are

                          1. KingPin Resource Centre

Mary Kageha (BigPen Guide in Nairobi ) leading in Information Technology for Early Reading digitalization, keyboarding,record keeping and BigPen Early Reading Database.

Mary is developing key boarding as an essential education21 digitalized system of learning to enable teachers and children to search for information in the internet .

Mary is a support guide to Boss Isigi on reception desk at KingPin. She compiles all the documentary on a desktop which develops all the database and documentary from all guides and Early Reading Program in Nairobi.

                         2. Bloom Center

Phanice Shumila(Field Manager guide in Nairobi )is a trainer of Early Reading workshops in Bloom Children Center.

She became a trainer in early reading program after adopting education21 skills from workshops in KingPin school. She has improved the quality of education from the 19th Century to the 21st century practice of Early reading in her Center. She also manages other Early Reading guides in Nairobi.

She initiates three Women groups that supports orphans and less fortunate needy children in her community.She markets Education21 using door to door advocacy strategy alongside her community mobilization on Vaccination and health monitoring among children and babies.

               3. Blessed School Center

Seline Otieno (Administrates Nairobi Guides) leads in improving health through GoShare Poultry Sacco marketing model to facilitate Education21.

She empowers mother and youths through microfinance services and advocates in sensitizing to the households about efficiency of education 21.Her target is to fight malnutrition among mothers and babies. She creates employment to improve living standard.She has donated laptops to support digital literacy.

               4 . Junior Yard Centre

Pauline Juma(Public Relations Guide in Nairobi Early Reading Team )leading in research on dyslexic learners through Early Reading in Nairobi.

Pauline is a powerful public relations officer that influences homes , nursery and primary schools to experiment and practice education21 by use of word of mouth as she facilitates Early Reading Workshops.

Pauline grassroot community outreach strategies involves visiting Women groups to incorporate Education21 with economic activities that creates job for the parents in the Early Reading Program.

             5. Neema ECDE Training Centre

James Kioko( Early Reading Guide in Nairobi ) advocates for Child Rights and Special Need Education in marketing Early Reading Program .

Kioko is an active guide who expands the implementation of early reading workshops. He advocates for Child Rights and Special Need Education through Education21 skills in evident mentorship program he facilitates in Nairobi . He develops instructional materials , assesses teachers to facilitate marketing in exercising Education21.

Spearheads Education21 in Neema Teacher's Training College to ensure quality Basic Education . He is a voluntary accountant in GoShare Poultry projects and Sacco who ensures accountability and transparency in the poultry project among teachers who practice Education21.

       6. Blessed Palace Learning Centre