The story of Gabriela Patoska, WLR Ambassador in Macedonia
As a part of the Pennsylvania Abroad program, a group of students from the University of Pennsylvania visited the We Love Reading head office in Jordan in May 2018. The students met Dr. Rana Dajani, Founder and Director of We Love Reading, where she shared the story of the initiative, the impact of the program on different areas such as early childhood development, women’s empowerment, social entrepreneurship, and social-emotional learning. The team also learned about WLR’s book development work and looked through the 32 children’s picture books that have been published so far. The students were impressed with the quality of the books and shared their thoughts and questions with Dr. Dajani and the We Love Reading staff. We were happy to see their engagement and excitement towards the We Love Reading idea. Andre Patoski, one of the students from Macedonia, went home during the summer holidays and shared the We Love Reading story with his mother Gabriela. Driven by her strong belief in the importance of reading, Gabriela started We Love Reading in her town. Dr. Dajani was visiting Macedonia for a conference and met with Andre, Gabriela and his friend Christine. Gabriela used to read to her children every night which is why she believes in the importance of reading to children. She is an amazing woman full of energy and love of children. She wants We Love Reading to help children get along together and fall in love with reading especially in rural areas. Christine expressed her intentions to spread We Love Reading throughout Macedonia, too.