On March 11, We Love Reading-Taghyeer, a program under the Ministry of Culture to foster a love of reading among children, held the conference:
“We Love Reading: The journey of Changemakers.” under the patronage of Her Excellency, the Minister of Culture Dr. Haifa’a Al-Najjar.
The We Love Reading Program is a research-backed program that 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 (WLR ambassadors) 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 seminar: (watch from our Facebook page)
This seminar is about celebrating each WLR ambassador’s unique journey to become a change-maker. Each journey is different, some are evident to others and some are personal. Nevertheless, they are all remarkable, very important and worthy of celebration.
We evolved to be problem solvers. That’s how we survived.
With civilization, we have forgotten this intrinsic trait. We need to reawaken this spirit and rekindle this fire. We Love Reading does just that. It inspires people to rediscover their inner selves. To realize that they have the agency to take decisions in the moment. They may not be able to control the conditions around them but can control how they respond. Through the simple task of reading aloud to children, one’s inner confidence and self-worth increases and are self-enforced to allow us to change our mindset to “I Can”.
WLR’s approach is our secret sauce. That is how WLR changes mindsets through reading to create change-makers.
We want to unpack and understand the mechanisms underlying the journeys of these amazing women as they embark on their leadership transitions through We Love Reading.
In this Seminar Scientists from Yale University, Hang Seng University and The Hashemite University will be sharing and discussing findings of the latest collaborative research project; Theory of change and social impact measurement of We Love Reading program impact on women’s leadership, empowerment, wellbeing, life satisfaction and social networks.
The findings showed that the reading intervention for children created an opportunity and an environment for relations to be developed between the WLR Ambassadors and the children. Additionally, the life satisfaction and psychological well-being of women increased in the We Love Reading group from baseline to endline. Preliminary analyses of the endline results show that volunteering work diversified women’s personal networks outside the home. On the other hand, mothers of children who took part in WLR in 2021 continue to report higher levels of child attitudes toward reading a year later than mothers of children who didn’t join the program.
“Every one of you is a guardian and is responsible of his charges” Prophet Muhammad –Peace be upon him.
“We Love Reading ambassadors become leaders in their community, discovering their voices both literally and figuratively through their ownership and agency over the program” –Rana Dajani.
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 63 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; Schwab award for Social Innovation 2022, Fair Saturday award 2022 and was featured in the New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/17/opinion/syria-refugee-children.html.