Dr. Rana Dajani spoke at the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign on the 30th of March 2018. The university hosted a day-long event for local high school students who are considering careers in teaching, who are considering careers in teaching. The event showcased the passion, energy, and drive of teachers, schools, and educational initiatives from around the world in order to give the high school students a taste of the opportunities a career in teaching can offer for making a difference in the world.
One of the spotlight sessions was on Refugee Education, during which Dr. Rana Dajani spoke about We Love Reading generally and elaborated on how it has been incorporated in refugee camp settings specifically.
Dr. Rana also shared powerful stories about the impact WLR has had on children who are read to and volunteers who read aloud in diverse contexts from urban areas to refugee camps. She also showed how communities as a whole are impacted by WLR. Dr. Rana shared the story of a woman who read aloud in a mosque and was so popular among children that the mosque couldn’t accommodate the large numbers of children wanting to attend. Many community members helped in their own ways to build a space for the reading aloud to take place in. This act brought the community even closer.
Dr. Rana mentioned that back in 2010, someone contacted her from here in Urbana-Champaign expressing interest in starting a WLR library. Even though Urbana does have several well-stocked libraries, the appeal of WLR is in the ability it has to bring people together in a context where many do not know their own neighbors because of the busy schedules everyone has.