Children swapped old books for new ones at the month-long schedule of Library on Wheels pop-ups.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
The unique, community-centric ‘Library on Wheels’ initiative operated by Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) will begin a year-long tour of the emirate following a series of immensely successful pop-ups at schools and key locations in Abu Dhabi city during March as part of the ‘Abu Dhabi Reads’ program.
Part of the fifth national ‘UAE Reads’ campaign, ‘Abu Dhabi Reads 2022’ directly engaged more than 30,000 readers across the Abu Dhabi community, with over 27,000 attending weekend literature-themed events at Umm Al Emarat Park, and over 3,000 readers swapping old books for new ones at the month-long schedule of ‘Library on Wheels’ pop-ups.
“In perfect alignment with ADEK’s strategy of promoting a daily reading culture and contributing to the UAE National Reading Agenda, the excellent response to this year’s Abu Dhabi Reads initiative has unearthed a healthy and highly encouraging appetite for more community-wide opportunities to engage with literature , ”Said His Excellency Amer Al Hammadi, ADEK Undersecretary.
“Having identified strong demand for the mobile library services among families and students, we have decided to continue the Library on Wheels tours throughout the year with the initiative now set to visit more schools and key locations across the emirate,” added HE Al Hammadi.
Throughout March, the ‘Library on Wheels’ toured 13 Abu Dhabi schools and 14 key destinations where adults and children turned out to join in storytelling sessions and relax with their favorite books in open-air, pop-up lounges.
Additionally, some 27,125 people attended more than 390 weekend activations in Umm Al Emarat Park where they joined workshops on creative writing, illustration and bookmark design, language skills, public speaking, puppet shows, and storytelling sessions presented by UAE-based authors.
“The enthusiasm shown for these activities has strengthened our commitment to promoting reading culture and literature to the community beyond school gates,” added Al Hammadi. “We are determined to work with relevant stakeholders to launch more innovative reading-themed activities which build a culture of reading for enjoyment, relaxation and wellbeing, as well as educational purposes to enhance the literacy skills and reading habits among students.”
The extended ‘Library on Wheels’ tour details will be shared on the www.adek.ae website.
A recent report said UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF) has partnered with the Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) to support Abu Dhabi Reads, an initiative designed to foster reading as a daily habit across many of the UAE capital’s communities.
Emirati author Noura Al Shemiri will read her own book series Hosn Al Emarat to children at Umm Al Emarat Park on 18th and 20th March as part of the UAE Reading Month celebrations. The jiu-jitsu-themed book collection was released by the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation last year and teaches children about the UAE’s culture, traditions, and values through the sport.
The eight-part series transmits the noble ideals and traditions of jiu-jitsu to a younger generation in a unique and captivating way. Through fictional jiu-jitsu characters, Noura cleverly uses sports, particularly the UAE’s national sport of jiu-jitsu, to engage the younger population.
“Education is how the UAE’s traditions and heritage are preserved,” Al Shemiri said of her involvement in Abu Dhabi Reads. “My participation in Abu Dhabi Reads is part of a larger and more comprehensive effort to contribute in enhancing our youth’s knowledge of UAE culture, arts, and sports.
“It is our responsibility as adults to promote a reading culture among our children. They must realize the importance of reading. Our visionary leaders are constantly encouraging youngsters to read and develop a love for books and this month serves as a reminder of the importance of nurturing a passion for reading among future generations. ”
The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) is the Education Sector regulator across the Emirates. It oversees and provides services throughout a learner’s journey from early education to university and beyond. It also champions inclusivity for People of Determination in the mainstream schooling system and by providing specialized schools.
Across Early Childhood and K-12, ADEK licenses and regulates nurseries and private schools in Abu Dhabi while also legislating, mandating and managing its own Charter Schools and 2 schools for People of Determination.