Through WLR ambassadors’ journey with the kids, children ‘s stories and the neighborhoods where they read, those success stories are born.

 

Reading Turned Into Their Favorite Hobby

Our Reading Ambassador, Yman Al-Turman

My name is Yman El-Turman, a member of the Youth Parliament of the Ministry of Youth, the UNICEF Youth Advisory Council and an activist in civil society organizations. One day I knew about a training workshop on reading aloud to children, which will be presented by "We Love Reading" in my area, which is Khalidiya in Mafraq. I decided to participate in it. Through training, I learned how to read the best for children.

After a while, I was employed by the Khalidiya Society for Special Education, which deals with functional and natural treatment. The students of the society are children with motor disabilities, hearing disabilities and minor, moderate mental disabilities. Therefore, I decided to implement what I learned from the training workshop (We love reading) to delight children, motivate them and attract them to read. initially those who suffer from motor disabilities only and then decided to start reading to all the children in the association and found the welcome of the teachers engaged in dealing with children with minor and moderate mental disabilities, so we began to conduct reading sessions for deaf students through sign language by explaining the images in the stories, and after Reading sessions became part of the center's activities. I started teaching the teachers how to best deal with students who suffer mental disabilities and how to attract their attention. Today, with the help of teachers, we regularly read to our students, we notice that students' enthusiasm may increase day by day. Reading turned into their favorite hobby.

 

Reading is the Solution

Marcela Believes that Reading Will Be The Way to Change Argentinians Children Present and Future

 

I have been working in the Honorary Consulate of Jordan in Buenos Aires, Argentina for the last 12 years. So, I look for different news and info trying to promote tourism and foreign trade. One day, Icame across the name of Dr. Rana Dajani and I started to read about the program. And as people started inquiring some information about the program, I got interested to contact Dr. Dajani.

In Argentina we’ve common problems with drugs, violence and robbery, we get many messages that you have to be rich to become somebody, or girls think that they need to rely on their outer beauty. From my experience, as I have an 18 Y/O daughter, who I used to read for and she became a reading lover. Now, she is successful, a good student, strong, analytical most importantly, She has a voice and she use it! That’s the reason why I believe in the importance of reading for early childhood development.

I held the first session in a public school for fourth grade they were around 9 Y/O. Children were crazy at first, But when I started to read they all became quite. It was magic! Their teacher could not believe their reaction!

I’m going to be reading in schools to rise the impact. I will also have a meeting on with Syrian refugees who are a part of a government program, which I’ll start the idea with. Finally I’m contacting a local library shop. To start reading their and gain parents trust. 

Everybody deserves to Read

The Story of Bringing the Love of Reading to Rural Arias in Iran

Farzaneh Shahrtash, children books publisher, is working together with Esmaeel Azari to promote the love of reading in remote areas in Iran.

Shahrtash, an activist in her country spotted the unfortunate conditions that children in remote areas in Iran suffer from, which deprives them the right to read for fun. After a mutual connection introduced her to Dr. Rana Dajani, and the We Love Reading project, she started the Idea in Iran and is now helping children in city of Dehdasht, Iran to read in their own language.

To know more about the program running in Iran, please watch the video.

 

Whenever, Wherever. Gather the Children and Read a Story

The Story of a Reading Session in Al-Haram Al-Maki

Gather the kids around, pick a book from your bag, read out the words, show the drawings and the pictures, spread the happiness everywhere, and little by little you’ll feel the happiness filling you from within drawing the smile on your face and the children’s faces. Don’t stop wherever you are whenever the time, Just Read.

The We Love Reading magical kit contains 25 story that takes you to another world. In today’s story you’ll find out the beauty that lies behind our program, “Hamzeh Saber Abu Slaih” our reading ambassador from Madaba, Jordan, took the training and was too busy to read for children but he always believed in We Love Reading. When he decided to go for Umrah to Macca, he had the most brilliant idea, giving the children a spiritual fun memory.

When Hamzeh came back from Umrah, he headed to Taghyeer head office in Amman, to tell us the story. Hamzeh said “I took the stories with me from Amman, I wanted to read for children in Haram, there are always religious circles in Haram, but I decided to give the children the time of their lives with a WLR circle. When I started there was 2 children, but they kept coming and coming, the most beautiful thing was having children from different backgrounds all together having fun and enjoying a good story, I had three stories on me but the wanted more and more and I kept on repeating the stories without them getting bored.”
And about his feeling Hamzeh said “in the beginning I was hesitated and afraid that the children would not enjoy the reading circle, but after the first book I felt that I’ve accomplished something. I felt that I left a memory in their hearts that would last forever, and I know they’ll connect this beautiful memory to this great place of worship. This really made me happy when I saw their happiness about something that is missing in their life, Reading.

 

The book is the road for people who love life

The Story of a Two Happily Married Reading Ambassadors

2017/ Ahmad al abdulla and Majed Qasha’am / Azraq camp- Jordan

We Love Reading started its training sessions inside the refugees’ camps (Azraq and JEC) along with partner organizations in May 2016. Life inside Azraq camp is different from that of other camps where WLR works. The refugees inside Azraq camp live in the midst of difficult conditions, including water and electricity shortages and unfit shelters, and these circumstances comprise an additional challenge for WLR.
At the beginning, sources from inside the camp told us that the initiative would not succeed in Azraq camp because the refugees were mainly concerned with satisfying basic needs such as food, water, and shelter. They said the refugee community would not value entertainment or reading to their children. Many of the parents do not send their children to school because they believe there is no point of education when they live in such difficult conditions. This significantly raises the proportion of children that cannot read or write. Keeping these concerns and doubts in mind, WLR and its volunteers set off to prove that reading is important to everyone, even if they are refugees.
We held two WLR trainings in the Azraq camp and after realizing the significance of the training on the first day, Ahmed Al Abdullah (Abu Layth) asked the trainers to let his wife attend the training as well. He knew that his wife had a special talent for public speaking. On the second day of the training, his wife Majd Qasham joined and was very excited to read aloud after her husband and the instructors filled her in on the previous session. After the training, all the trainees became WLR ambassadors and opened libraries. One month later, we visited Abu Layth and his wife to follow up on the progress of their reading sessions. We found more than 30 children of different ages in attendance, and they told us that the number of children attending grows every day. They were interested in listening to the stories and Majd told us that she had always wanted to be an ambassador. When she told her father that she is now a WLR ambassador, he sent her the following poem in response:

Read, read.
I like that you are a bookworm
So that the bad things will go away
And your thinking will be clear.
The book is the road for people who love life,
Who will be a good friend
And will not leave you or disappear.
Books are the way to achieving glory
That show you the best path.

I Am a Reading Ambassador

A Chance to Pursue My Long Lost Dream of Being a Teacher

2017/ Amman- Jordan/ Linda Mujahed 

“I always wanted to become a teacher, but I never had the chance to complete my education. I heard about a training for reading aloud for children and thought this could be a great way for me to be closer to children.

I participated in the We Love Reading training and after a few weeks of holding reading sessions, I felt the difference within myself and my community. I felt how much these reading sessions affected me and the children in my area! Even their mothers are happy now!

One of the girls named Yara said: “I love reading sessions, because Linda make us read sometimes, and unlike the teacher she does not scold me when I make a mistake while reading.” She added: “My friends always buy stories but I never had enough money to buy a story. I really feel thankful because Linda reads to us and lets us exchange stories without paying money! When I grow up I will build an orphanage so I can read to orphans and help them.”
Another boy named Zaid said: “It is better than staying out in the streets!”

Some of the kids could not attend my reading sessions because my house is too far from their houses. To solve this problem, I rented a bus for them.

The regional officer from We Love Reading, Shaima Anabtawi, visited me with a guest from the UKAID, Rosalinda Gater. They attended a reading session and happily discussed with me and the children the effects of reading. I felt very proud of their visit!

Becoming a We Love Reading ambassador makes me feel I have achieved my aim of becoming a teacher!”

We Love Reading changed my daughter’s life!

We Love Reading changed my daughter’s life!

2017/ Ajloun-Jordan/ Hana Oriqat

I am Hanan Oreiqat from Ajloun. I have four beautiful daughters, and three of them are deaf and use the sign language to communicate. The youngest has no speech problems at all, but she always used the sign language to communicate with others and refused to talk.

One day, I heard that a training on reading aloud will be held soon in Ajloun (WLR training). I became excited and really loved the idea of reading for children in my area, including my own kids. I thought: “maybe this could help my youngest daughter to express herself better!”.

I took the training and started reading aloud right away. After a few sessions I held, I noticed how much my youngest kid has changed. She stopped using the sign language to communicate with everyone, and no longer refused to talk. She expresses herself clearly and sometimes creates her own stories.

Whenever we go to a stationary store, she buys a coloring book, colors the characters and names them, making a story from the coloring book. My experiences as a We Love Reading ambassador changed my daughter’s life!

Little Ghassan Became a Reading Ambassador

I am the closest to their age and I know what they like better!

“2016/ Baqaa Camp - Jordan/ Ghassa...”

I am Ghassan from Syria, I came to Jordan with my family and now we live in Baqaa camp. My journey with We Love Reading started when I attended a training with my mother. During the training, I loved the idea of reading aloud so much that I was the most enthusiastic and active trainee. Because I was the youngest participant, I knew what children like!

After the training, I started reading at the Quran Center where I usually learn and memorize the Quran. After a few sessions I held, I noticed that my colleagues finish their lessons earlier and memories Quran verses faster to join the reading session. They loved the stories and shared them with their families, and the size of our group grew quickly. I needed some support to handle reading to this huge number of children. So, I trained two of my friends to read with me, and divided the children into three reading groups.

For a while, I stopped the sessions because of my school exams, but the children did not want me to stop reading. Everyone started calling me and some of them came to my house to ask why I stopped reading. Pursuing reading is important, so I bought some stories and gave them to my friends, whom I previously trained, and asked them to continue reading. And I opened the doors of my house for them to hold the reading sessions.

The owner of my building noticed the number of children who come to my home, and when I told her about the reading sessions, she prepared the roof of the building to become a permanent place for reading.

I was really amazed by the influence of reading on children. After I finish reading any of the stories, children start discussing what the story is really about. And when they see wrong behaviors, such as littering, they criticize that behavior.

Now, we have launched an initiative in collaboration with the Quran Center manager to clean the streets of the camp. The positive impacts of of reading have spread not only to the children but also to the wider community.

And as for the influence reading has had on me, I am proud to be an active change agent in my community. Everyone regardless of their age can have a great influence on their surroundings, through an idea as simple as reading sessions for children.  

I hope that We Love Reading will grow and reach more children around the world!

The hope of building a better future

The hope of building a better future.

2016/ Amman/ Faten Tahhan

Me and my sister volunteer at a kindergarten in our neighborhood. One day, I found a flyer on the ground of the classroom, about a We Love Reading training. I liked the name of the training and thought this may be the program that me and my sister are looking for! We were concerned with how to make children love reading.

My sister and I took the training, and the two days were the greatest days of my life! I finally found readable children books with nice text and beautiful illustrations.

Fifteen days after the training we opened a library in the Syrian children’s club at the kindergarten. We started reading every Thursday, and the kids were thrilled about our weekly sessions.

In the summer vacation we could not read at the kindergarten, so we opened a library inside our building. We invited the children of the building and the children of the neighborhood. Seeing Syrian and Jordanian kids join in one activity together amazed me.   They now think of their similarities instead of their differences!

Now, I have been reading for more than a year.  What motivates me to continue is the hope of building a better future with a conscious generation who loves to read.

I hope that one day I will meet the great person behind this initiative, Dr. Rana Dajani, and thank her for spreading smiles and a love of reading to children.

Passion Makes Me Unstoppable!

Passion makes you unstoppable

2015/ Tunisia/ Raoudha 

A life-changing diagnosis doesn’t need to prevent you from celebrating literature and culture.

   I am Raoudah and I am from Tunisia. I was raised in a family interested in culture, where we celebrated literature. I grew up among piles of books lying around the house, and my father was a literature teacher. During my childhood, my   daily routine included reading. My mother was determined that me and my three siblings would read a text out loud, fluently and expressively, every day before heading to school! After earning my diploma, I started teaching, and would read aloud to my students, urging them to memorize texts which they would then debate in class.  30 years ago, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and my diagnosis severely diminished the amount of reading I could do. I could no longer hold the energetic type of classes that I led earlier in my career.  

But this diagnosis did not stop me. I believe my passion makes me unstoppable. In our world there is so much suffering, yet people still survive and thrive. After seven years of holding reading sessions, I became a supervisor of classes. The school librarian’s lack of enthusiasm towards sharing books dismayed me: she did not want to allow the children to borrow books because it meant more work for her.  From my sister, I heard about We Love Reading and I contacted Dr. Rana on how I could become a part of the initiative. The children were immediately excited to come to my reading aloud club and partake in a new experience. I now hold reading aloud sessions twice a week and coordinate an extra session as a book exchange.  I always try to inspire my pupils. I encourage them to read as much as they can to strengthen their imagination. Also, I want to keep the tradition and culture of our country alive, particularly in the current context.  To achieve this goal, I organized an event about traditional clothing and jewelry in order to ensure that my pupils understood about our local customs.  I will continue doing things that benefit the children as long as I have energy to do so, and luckily, I find reading to the children to be a remedy for me.