A school visit as part of the 'Reading for Pleasure' initiative in Dubai. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: When Isobel Abulhoul, Founder, Advisor and Trustee, Emirates Literature Foundation, first revealed details of ‘Reading for Pleasure’ in an exclusive interview with Gulf News last year, she had described it as an “incredible pilot”, which at the time had already delivered 5,000 books to build classroom libraries across six schools, so students could have instant access to interesting and enjoyable reading material.

Today, the project has gained much momentum, achieving more than what it set out to.

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Facilitating this process is new partnership that Emirates Literature Foundation has announced with Al Hudhud Publishing and Distribution to promote and strengthen “Reading for Pleasure” among students.

Accordingly, Al Hudhud will provide support by supplying books to classroom libraries, and organise training and awareness sessions for teachers and parents by its in-house education experts and writers who have previously published with Hudhud.

The publisher is making its catalogue available for free to classroom libraries in the six participating schools, covering students from kindergarten to grade six. The book selection process is done through assessing grade levels and appropriate topics. This aims to ensure a distinguished and enjoyable reading experience for students in addition to aligning with educational objectives.

Training sessions are held for parents, students and teachers to cover eight topics related to the habit of reading for pleasure. These sessions, starting in the next academic year, aim to empower parents and teachers with the tools and insights needed to develop a love of reading in children.

During the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2024, which was held from January 31 to February 6, the Emirates Literature Foundation unveiled the ELF Reading Caravan, which also received support from Al Hudhud. During March, the ELF Reading Caravan made seven school visits and one online visit, and covered schools in Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah and Umm Al Qwain. More than 500 students participated in these sessions.

Abulhoul said: “This partnership with Al Hudhud affirms our shared commitment to empowering young learners, teachers, and parents alike, and to promoting a culture of using literature and stories as tools to overcome cultural differences, stimulate imagination and open doors to a world of endless possibilities.”

Ali AlShaali, Founder and General Manager of Al Hudhud Publishing & Distribution, said: “There is a great deal of synergy between our organisation and the Emirates Literature Foundation. Both entities are dedicated to nurturing a culture of reading, with a special focus on children and youth, and share a profound belief in shaping a brighter tomorrow led by generations enriched with the values assembled from literature and books.