UAEBBY launches Reading Challenge for active social media users
The UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) has launched an exciting new initiative under the umbrella of its innovative Read.Dream.Create campaign, which aims to bring children and books to together and support children’s ability to read, write, innovate and create. Focused on the realm of social media, the ‘Reading Challenge’ initiative challenges all active in the use of social media to do reading session for students in schools and kindergartens in the various emirates of the UAE.
The idea of the challenge is that one activist on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram will read different books especially winning books of the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature to a group of a school or kindergarten children in one of the UAE’s emirates. Then, he/she will select another activist from these social networking platforms to do the same in another school or kindergarten, with the aim to increase communication between users of modern media and children under the age of ten, encouraging them to read and enjoy books.
Commenting on the occasion, Marwa Obaid Al Aqroubi, President of the UAEBBY Executive Board, said, “We are delighted with the keen response shown by avid Emirati users of social media to this initiative which is part of the Read.Dream.Create campaign, through which we are looking forward to encourage children to read books, especially the winners of the Etisalat Award winning. The involvement of these dynamic young men and women in this initiative will increase children’s interaction and instil a love of books in their hearts, because of the direct personal contact they will have with the storytellers.”
Al Aqroubi added that every reading session of the ‘Reading Challenge’ includes reading 4 to 5 books in one selected school or kindergarten. “Reading sessions are accompanied by exciting and fun activities such as drawing, colouring, sound mimicking, and making collages to provide an integrated activity that attracts children and motivates them to create and use their imagination,” she said.
Al Aqroubi announced that the Read.Dream.Create campaign welcomes the volunteers, and that anyone who would like to take part in “Reading Challenge” can contact the UAEBBY on the campaign’s website: www.readdreamcreate.ae.
The first round of the reading sessions was attended by the Taim Al Falasi, the first Emirati woman to produce her own online radio show and presenter of the popular Taim Show; the talented interior designer Ali Aloush; Mthayel Al Ali, social media activist; Alia Al Shamsi, photographer and lecturer at the American University of Sharjah; Rashid Al Nuaimi, an aspiring singer and filmmaker; and “3fretoo”, a famous comedian on Instagram .
The initiative has already covered a number of schools in Sharjah, Dubai, Al Ain, Ajman and Umm Al Quwain, including Mohammed bin Khaled Al Nahyan Generations School, Al Mizhar School for Basic Education, Sharjah Model School for Girls, Al Naimiya School for Basic and Secondary Education, Al Nuaimia School for Basic and Secondary Education, Dubai International School, and Alaghsaan Kindergarten. More schools and kindergartens will be included in the coming period, in participation of a group of the most active social media users in the UAE.
The UAEBBY’s Read.Dream.Create campaign was launched in 2013 with the aim of bringing children and books together, highlighting the importance of reading, showing how fun and creative reading can be, and motivating children to really use their imaginations, be creative, and practice how to get their stories told. The campaign includes a range of reading related activities as well as an interactive website that engages community involvement in creating a culture of reading.