Monday 25, July 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: Keeping in spirit with the ‘Year of Reading’ initiative announced by His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of United Arab Emirates, students of Al Mawakeb Schools and International School of Arts & Sciences (ISAS) have actively participated in various literature and reading events within and outside the schools
The pledge to make reading an active part of one’s life started with hosting the author and AMSI alumnus Alia Al Shamsi, who read excerpts from her book ‘Alayah’ to a group of spellbound students. The author described to students her journey as a writer, and urged them to believe in the power of books to ignite our imagination.
To expand the audience for this initiative, AMSI schools also hosted teachers from other schools in Dubai under the banner of “Reading Changes Lives” – a dedicated day featuring literacy workshops on the latest and popular Arabic and English reading programs and developing strategies for classroom reading activities. Within the initiative, certain internationally recognized days were also observed at the schools, such as the ‘World Book Day’ celebrated on 23rd of April every year – wherein students dressed up as their favourite character from a book. To encourage dormant readers, innovative solutions such as reading in a relaxed environment with casual clothes was experimented with at the school premises to great effect.
Having created strong foundations of reading at the school, students were further encouraged to participate in prestigious competitions. The students demonstrated exceptional performance in events such as the Emirates Festival of Literature – particularly in the Arabic language categories, Spelling Bee contests, and Chevron Readers Cup where students of the AMSI schools impressed the judges and brought laurels to their schools and teachers.
Having honed their skills, the students were also eager to give back to society by reading for a cause. Groups of students hosted their friends from Dubai Autism Centre and conducted special reading sessions for the children, thereby creating a familial atmosphere that allowed for deeper engagement and meaningful interactions.
The efforts are part of AMSI’s commitment to supporting the national programs aimed at spreading knowledge and love for reading in societies, re-inventing methods of reading, encouraging students to embrace the Arabic language, and allow young minds to play a crucial part in contributing to the written word in the region.