Amman, December 11 – On December 11, We Love Reading-Taghyeer, a program under the Ministry of Culture to foster a love of reading among children, held the conference: “Motivation is the key: changing mindsets through reading to create changemakers.” under the patronage of Her Excellency, the Minister of Culture Dr. Haifa Najjar.
The We Love Reading Program was founded by Dr. Rana Dajani in 2006 to foster the love of reading for pleasure among children and creating changemakers around the world, The We Love Reading (WLR) program constitutes training local volunteers to hold read aloud sessions in public spaces in their neighborhoods in the native language of the child.
We Love Reading aims to catalyze long term system change by changing mindsets through reading to create changemakers. Our programs have spread to 63 countries and it help thousands of local volunteers build new capabilities and enable them to act creatively for themselves and their communities. WLR inspires children to think independently.
About the conference:
We are living in a post COVID world where all norms have been disrupted. This has enabled us see the gaps better and the paths to change clearer. We have come to learn that in the journey to achieve the SDGs such as poverty, education, women equality and inclusion; motivation is key to foster an internal feeling of responsibility, agency and ownership to be the change we want to see in the world. Today we know that the impossible is possible and therefore we can and will achieve the SDGs through the approach of changing mindsets through reading to create changemakers.
In this conference Scientists from Queen Mary University London, Trinity College Dublin, University of York, The University of Jordan and The Hashemite University, will be sharing our latest collaborative research;” FIERCE: Family Intervention for Empowerment through Reading and Education” findings on the Direct impact of We Love Reading on children’s educational trajectories, literacy, and love of reading as well as the indirect impact through changes of family processes relating to the mother-father involvement. As well as creating a toolkit to effectively develop and implement education interventions in other humanitarian contexts.
The research findings show that We Love Reading caused children to have more positive attitudes toward reading and marginally improved the quality of mother-child relationships.
This conference is also about celebrating ten years since the establishment of Taghyeer as a force for change in a true manifestation of its name, and celebration of the local women and men and youth who have been changemakers in their own right by reading aloud to the children in their neighborhoods.
“Every one of you is a guardian and is responsible of his charges” Prophet Muhammad –Peace be upon him-.
About We Love Reading:
The program constitutes training local volunteer women, men and youth to hold read-aloud sessions in public spaces in their neighborhoods where books are routinely read aloud to children. WLR chooses books that are age-appropriate, attractive, neutral in content, in the native language of the child. In addition to promoting the experience of reading, WLR empowers women, men and youth readers to become leaders in their communities, builds ownership in the children and community members and serves as a platform for raising awareness on issues such as health and environment through reading books on themes. The program impacts emotional regulation, executive function, literacy skills and psychosocial status. The model can be replicated anywhere using an existing common public space. An innovative model of support for those using the program was developed to create a supportive network for the volunteers and their work. The program has been called a social movement and has spread to 50 countries. The program is evidence-based in collaboration with international universities such as Brown University and Yale. The program is led by local scientists, practitioners, and business experts who strive to reach every child by empowering and engaging the workforce; creating partnerships with key stakeholders; and adapting and optimizing the model, utilizing technology and continuous improvement methodology.
The international advisory board of We Love Reading includes Her Royal Highness Princess Sumaya bint Alhassan, the former U.S. secretary of education Arne Duncan, and His Excellency Hamdi Tabbaa.
We Love Reading has been honored in Jordan and internationally. From His Majesty King Abdullah II the King Hussein Medal of Honor 2014; Synergos award 2009; Ahel Himmeh 2009; Library of congress best practices 2013; WISE Award 2014; Star Award 2015; IDEO.org best refugee education program 2015; UNESCO International Literacy Prize 2017; UNHCR innovative education for refugees 2017; World Literacy Council Award 2018; and the Jacobs social entrepreneurship award 2018; Ashoka Award 2019; Nansen refugee Award 2020; selected for HundrED’s 2022 Global Collection and was featured in the New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/17/opinion/syria-refugee-children.html.