The Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program honors organizations that have made outstanding contributions to increasing literacy in the United States or abroad. The awards also encourage the continuing development of innovative methods for combating illiteracy and the wide dissemination of the most effective practices. They are intended to draw public attention to the continuing need for literacy services and to increase awareness of the importance of literacy. By recognizing current achievements, the awards seek to inspire organizations, foundations, and other private sector groups to become involved in combating illiteracy.
WLR is one of 26 semifinalists for Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program for year 2013. The Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program: Best Practices report offers a summary about each of the 26 finalists and classifies them according to their approach in tackling the illiteracy problem, since it is a big one that involves several factors. WLR was classified under Reading Aloud and Storytelling.
The following is a summary about WLR according to the aforementioned report:
Rana Dajani, the founder of the We Love Reading (WLR) program, which originated in Jordan and has expanded to more than a dozen countries on several continents, developed an innovative model that draws on the volunteer service of women in each of the local communities served. The women, trained by WLR experts, voluntarily give of their time to focus on the read-aloud and storytelling experience to plant the love of reading among children in their neighborhoods and communities.
Working in the Middle East, where traditionally reading has not been viewed as a pleasurable activity and steadfast in her belief that reading aloud is the key to fostering a love of reading, Rana Dajani, the founder of We Love Reading (WLR), uses this activity in her program to help children achieve success in learning to read. Her innovative, grassroots literacy intervention program involves training women to hold readaloud sessions in neighborhood spaces such as mosques and community centers. WLR has changed attitudes about reading and has inspired parents and children to read for pleasure. The result is that participants increase their educational and professional opportunities through the improvement of reading skills.