Does We Love Reading improve children’s literacy and attitudes toward reading?
Community-led, shared book-reading interventions have been shown to improve early childhood development and reduce inequity. There is limited research on their impact on refugees, but shared book-reading programs may be helpful in addressing some of the many educational challenges that Syrian refugee children in Jordan face.
How the research was conducted
To assess this, we evaluated We Love Reading, a locally developed and implemented program in Jordan. We used a randomized controlled trial, where half of the participants took part in We Love Reading sessions for 12 weeks, and the other half did not.
322 Syrian refugee mothers and their 4-8-year-old children living in Amman and Zaatari camp took part in the study. We collected data immediately before the intervention (baseline) and immediately after.
Key findings: Literacy & education
11.3% of children aged 6 and older were not enrolled in school. Since data were collected during COVID lockdowns, most children in school attended online (77.5%).
Literacy levels among the children were low, with many school-aged children unable to identify any common or uncommon Arabic letters.
Key findings: We Love Reading
As seen below, children who took part in We Love Reading had more positive attitudes toward reading. There were no impacts on child literacy.