Let’s read and talk: Testing an intervention to encourage parent-child interactive book-reading.
Funder: New York University Abu Dhabi
Antje von Suchodoletz: New York University Abu Dhabi
Rana Dajani: Hashemite University
This research is a collaboration between WE LOVE READING and Dr. Antje von Suchodoletz, Teaching, Learning, and Development Lab at New York University Abu Dhabi (UAE). The study uses cutting-edge technology to explore how stress influences parent-child interaction, including epigenetic sampling, heart rate data, and cortisol samples. The goal of this study is to explore how a parent-child book reading intervention impacts both parent and child outcomes. This study also aims to test intervention effects on children’s school readiness (primary outcome), parents’ engagement in book reading with their child (secondary outcome), and to explore mechanisms and processes underlying the intervention effects on school readiness and parenting behaviors and practices.
Theory of change and social Impact measurement of We Love Reading
Funder: The Korean National Commission for UNESCO (KNCU)
Dr. Catherine Panter-Brick: Yale University
Dr. Rana Dajani: The Hashemite University
Dr. Susanna Chui: The Hang Seng University of Hong kong
Dr. Amal Kharoof: University of Jordan
The project aims to test whether a community-based intervention (We Love Reading, WLR) impacts the leadership disposition, social support, sense of empowerment, and personal social networks of socially disadvantaged women living in Amman. It will use a randomized control trial design with intervention and control groups.
The study team will compare how outcome variables change over time for the intervention group, with respect to the change over time for controls, to assess the added value of the intervention.
(FIERCE): Family Intervention for Empowerment through Reading and Education. (Long term)
Funder: British Academy.
The Korean National Commission for UNESCO (KNCU)
Dr. Kristin Hadfield: Trinity College Dublin
Dr. Isabelle: Mareschal, Queen Mary University of London
Dr Rana Dajani: The Hashemite University
Dr. Amal Alkharouf: University of Jordan
Dr. Sophie von Stumm: University of York
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.
children who took part in We Love Reading had more positive attitudes toward reading. There were no impacts on child literacy.
Literacy levels among participating children are very low. Literacy is important to many aspects of children’s development and functioning; it is critical to address these low literacy rates, to enable the prosperity and future positive functioning of Syrian refugees in Jordan. We Love Reading shows promise in improving children’s attitudes toward reading. Better attitudes toward reading may have many positive knock-on effects on children. We will study these other impacts with a 3rd data collection period.
(FIERCE) Syrian Refugee Fathers Study
Funder: Yale University
Catherine Panter-Brick: Yale University
Zaid Alkayed: University of Jordan
Majd Al-Soleiti: Yale University
Isabelle Mareschal: Queen Mary University
Kristin Hadfield: Trinity College Dublin
Rana Dajani: The Hashemite University
Lama Sawalha: University of Jordan
This study aims to assess, in a cohort of Syrian families living as refugees in Jordan, the extent to which fathers engage with his family, contribute to family cohesiveness, and assess family-level impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. In doing so, it offers both a humanistic and social lens on Syrian refugee fathers and their roles across generations.
Our research with Syrian refugees capitalized on an opportunity to follow families over time, assessing father roles, family cohesiveness, and family-level COVID responses before and after a structured reading intervention.
How We Love Reading volunteers go on to become social entrepreneurs:
Empowering people to create positive change in their communities
Farah Al Taji: Brunel University London
Rawan Alheresh: Harvard university
Zeina Muqbel: Harvard university
Rama Kummitha: Northumbria university
The Path from Volunteering to Social Entrepreneurship is a research study that explores women’s intention to become social entrepreneurs after volunteering with the not-for-profit organisation ‘We Love Reading’ (WLR). The purpose of the research is to advance our understanding of whether the experience of volunteering encourages women to be more active in their local communities, specifically by playing a key role through proposing and participating in solutions to community challenges. WLR provides volunteers with training and resources which 1) empower them to create and manage a library for children in their neighbourhoods, and in turn 2) encourages children to read for pleasure by reading aloud through regular story telling sessions. There has been anecdotal evidence that the WLR project not only empowers these women to be volunteers, but the skills, agency and confidence gained lead them to go further independently and become social entrepreneurs. Social entrepreneurship in Jordan is an extremely under-researched and ill-understood field of activity. Yet the need for greater understanding on how to encourage their establishment is of paramount importance as the Jordanian government, local government actors and non-profit organisations increasingly lack the financial ability to respond to the needs of the Jordanian community, not to forget the reverberation of COVID-19 crisis which has already overwhelmed the public and private sectors. In such an environment, the social enterprise – being locally led and financially sustainable – offers an exciting alternative.
In phase one of the research, a longitudinal quantitative survey was conducted with over 100 women volunteers. In the second phase, we built on initial findings: a series of semi-structured interviews with 34 women who have already completed the questionnaire of the first phase of data collection. The two phases are intended to provide insights not only regarding volunteering experience as an antecedent to foster the intension to create social entrepreneurship, but also in connection with resilience as a mediator factor. Preliminary findings of the study reveal that women’s social entrepreneurship intention has positively evolved during women’s volunteering journey with WLR. The study shows that the voluntary experience with WLR encourages women volunteers to go beyond what they do with WLR and realise other social needs around them, which in turn drives them to take on the responsibility of thinking and looking for solutions to change the status quo. The study also shows that WLR experience has a positive impact on women volunteers’ resilience and personal identity, which both have an influence on women’s intention to create further social impact in the community they belong to. These findings make a useful contribution to existing literature in the field of entrepreneurship, gender studies, voluntary action, and development studies through analysing the longer-term impact of voluntary action on women’s self-perception and engagement with their communities.
Improving emotional recognition and decision-making among refugee children in Jordan: Evaluation of a low-cost, reading-based intervention
Funder: Queen Mary University of London
Isabelle Mareschal: Queen Mary University of London
This study seeks to answer the question: What are the impacts of forced displacement, trauma exposure, and insecure environments on refugee children’s decision-making and emotion recognition skills, and can a reading-based intervention (We Love Reading model) improve these outcomes? Given that trauma can lead to maladapted emotion recognition and inappropriate behaviors to emotional stimuli, it is critical to examine these links in children who have experienced war and displacement.