We Love Reading

We Love Reading (WLR) promotes an appreciation for learning by establishing community libraries and training local women to lead read aloud sessions for young children.
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Year launched: 
2006
Launch country: 

CEI Plus Status

Program Results Status
Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting
Primary Approach: 
Implementer: 
Taghyeer
Primary Topic: 
Education level (ISCED): 
Program Description: 

We Love Reading aims to provide a practical, cost-efficient, sustainable, grassroots approach that involves women and the community to increase reading levels among children aged 4-10 by focusing on the read-aloud experience to plant the love of reading. The We Love Reading (WLR) program constitutes training local women and youth to hold read-aloud sessions in public spaces in their neighborhoods where books are routinely read aloud to children. This is the “library.”  WLR chooses books that are age-appropriate, attractive, neutral in content, and in the native language of the child. In addition to promoting the experience of reading, WLR empowers women 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.

The model can be replicated anywhere. It uses an existing common public space such as a mosque or community center. It does not need a bookshelf since all books are given out, requiring only a collection of books that are read again and again. The woman who reads aloud doesn’t have to be highly educated and trained. The women receiving training are required to “pay it forward,” by sharing newly acquired knowledge and training another woman to become a reader, creating a domino effect.  The trained reader is welcomed because she is from the neighborhood. The community starts to respect women and supports their roles as leaders and future change agents even within mosques.  The community also starts to invest in the collection, building ownership and responsibility of the library. WLR aims to change attitudes and let people know that reading is fun.

WLR depends on networks of women who already resemble a movement to bring about social change through reading. WLR aims to develop long-term cultural change. WLR isn’t delivering services that need support systems; it is creating capabilities in hundreds of local women enabling them to be creative for themselves. The model is formulated in a way that each person can tailor the model to fit his or her culture and needs while maintaining the essence of the model, aiding in building ownership of the project and sustainability.

WLR has trained 700 women, created 300 libraries, directly impacted 10,000 children (60% girls) and indirectly impacted 50,000 individuals in Jordan, worked across sectors—business, government, and civil society—to forge multi-stakeholder relationships to advance the WLR model. WLR has spread to Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iraq, Tunisia, Turkey, Thailand, Mexico, Malaysia, Uganda, Germany, and Azerbaijan. WLR has been contacted to implement WLR in New York City in marginalized neighborhoods.

WLR has also developed 10 books for children that focus on energy and water conservation and littering. 

The We Love Reading model has evolved into a framework to nurture social entrepreneurship.  Young men and women are discovering the potential inside them to become changemakers in their communities through the library they establish in their neighborhood. They have started their own initiatives serving their communities by identifying the problems that bother them and coming up with grassroots solutions to develop their country. WLR has been implemented in the Zaatri refugee camp with amazing results on the children's thirst for reading, on women, and on increased youth self esteem. Children have started writing their own stories and reading to each other.

 

 

Highlighting Innovation: 
The flexibility of the WLR model has allowed it to be relevant globally.