Children learn joy of reading in Lebanon camps
Three-year-old Hoda sits on the floor totally engrossed in the large colorful book in her lap. She and her 80 classmates at Najdeh preschool in Ein El Helweh refugee camp had just received a supply of new books, delivered by ANERA. Hoda couldn’t wait to ask her teacher about all the new things she saw in the book: “Is the blue whale big as big as our kindergarten?”
In several Palestinian refugee camps across Lebanon, ANERA has delivered 13,744 books, generously donated by International Book Bank, to educational centers. More than 700 children, aged three to five, will enjoy reading new, colorful books from the distribution. “These books will enhance interactive learning and teaching through visuals and storytelling and make learning easy and fun,” says Dima Zayat, ANERA’s in-kind program manager.
In Lebanon camps books enhance imagination
The economically under-developed Lebanon camps are accustomed to overcrowded and difficult living conditions and a chronic shortage of teaching materials, books and equipment for children.
“A book promotes children’s literacy, culture and education while entertaining them,” says Nisrine Makkouk, ANERA’s education program manager. “Reading a book is not only an educational tool for kids, but also enhances their imagination and builds their personality through interactive learning.”
The shipment filled the libraries in the camp education centers with a wide variety of colorful books on topics ranging from personal hygiene to the wonders of nature. “At the preschool, we teach the children different themes and stories, from the importance of hygiene or discovering animals and the human body, to food and nutrition. These books cover all the themes and more,” explains Zinat Farhoud, an instructor at Najdeh kindergarten in Ein El Helweh camp.
Joy of reading knows no boundaries
To promote the new books and the value of reading at any age, ANERA organized an event entitled “Mama Reads” at the Women’s Program Center, in Burj El Barajneh camp in Beirut. More than 15 women gathered to learn a bit of English and how to use books as a tool to encourage learning in the family.
Nicolas Boke, ANERA’s education consultant, facilitated the reading session. “One can immediately recognize the effort these women are putting into reading in English, and as education experts we need to show them support.”
One middle-aged mother who attended the session was full of amazement. Holding her infant daughter in one arm she diligently took notes with her free hand. She smiled with pride, “I never thought, I could still have the energy to learn at my age.”