During my normal peruse of the news related to my beloved Palestine, I came across this lovely, hopeful piece and decided today I would write about something a bit more light-hearted. The Vanguards of Hope School in Nablus recently won a $1 million prize dedicated to reading at the school and they plan to use it to help expand their library and provide more books in the classrooms. According to the article, the teachers at the school came together several years ago to discuss how students at Vanguards of Hope, and in the Arab world in general, aren’t reading for fun. They set out on a mission to change this. After being selected to participate in Dubai’s Arab Reading Challenge (ARC), and eventually winning prize money, the teachers have noticed a significant change in the students – they have started to bring books with them simply for pleasure and not for assignments.
Education is the core of everything. It’s absolutely wonderful to see people so dedicated to their students and paving the way in the Arab world. These young students, mostly in primary and elementary school, are proving the statistics wrong. Though studies have shown that Arab children read far less on average than those in the West, initiatives like this work to improve the education and general life of students in Palestine. We need to not only encourage these directives, but also bring attention to them, so that more people can get involved in these types of initiatives.