A campaign initiated by Abu Dhabi among school children to promote reading is finding success as reading is slowly becoming an activity of choice for Abu Dhabi schoolchildren, reports carried by UAE dailies have said.
"At ADEC, we are proud of the positive outcomes of the first and second Abu Dhabi Reads editions. Figures show that reading rates have increased among students, reaching 91 percent for private schools and 85 percent for public school students across the emirate," said Dr. Amal Al Qubaisi, Director-General of ADEC, adding, "These rates apply to students who practise reading on a daily basis. We aspire for this rate to reach 100 percent and for daily reading hours to increase."
Abu Dhabi Reads, an annual campaign to promote reading among children launched by the Abu Dhabi Education Council, ADEC, began its third edition yesterday and will continue until May 28th.
The campaign not only focuses on strengthening language skills but in promoting national identity and cultural exposure, said Dr. Al Qubaisi. Teachers, parents, ADEC officials and other members of the community were encouraged to take on reading as part of the initiative.
As part of this campaign, schools will organise daily activities that promote reading, including workshops, lectures and plays. All of the emirate's more than 340,000 pupils, from kindergarten up to Grade 12, are expected to participate.
"Schools are allowed to design and implement their own activities. For example, morning assemblies must stress reading, and many institutions will organise a ‘Character Day', where younger children act out one of their favourite fictional characters," said Sara Al Suwaidi, Section Manager for Pedagogy and Learning Resources at ADEC.
In addition, schools will also have a set time for reading, known as Drop Everything and Read, DEAR. "So when we ring the DEAR bell, children must put away everything else and read a book of their choice," Sara explained.
Children will also have a chance to participate in a competition for writing the best short story, while teachers will be awarded for developing the most innovative strategy that helps develop Arabic and English reading skills.
This 2015 edition of Abu Dhabi Reads will also support special needs children by providing them with any equipment and assistance they require to undertake reading.
This year's campaign includes the Abu Dhabi Reads Award for the first time. It is divided into the "best short story category" and "best innovative strategy" to develop reading skills in Arabic and English. The award will recognise pupils talented in writing and innovative teachers.