Worldreader to Expand Early Childhood Reading Program to Jordan
14 February 2017

Worldreader today announced plans to expand its successful Read to Kids Program to serve Syrian refugee and host communities in Jordan. 

The program supports parents and caregivers to become their children’s first teachers, enabling and encouraging them to read to their young children using their mobile phones. The Read to Kids mobile reading program in India cultivated more than 60,000 readers over nine months through generous support from Pearson. 

Worldreader is now committing to expanding into Jordan to help Syrian and Jordanian children become lifelong readers. The organization will work with Arabic publishers and partners to digitize and disseminate high quality Arabic children’s reading books to 50,000 households across the country. The program will also work with educators and publishers to curate a psychosocial collection of books and activities that encourages stories and reading as a safe way to explore emotions and generate healing.

“Encouraging parents to get engaged in their children’s learning through reading books has been outlined as a key priority of Jordan in 2016. The research is clear on the importance of reading for brain development and long-term success in children’s lives. We are pleased to work with Worldreader be able to offer this innovative program to the people of Jordan as well as the Syrian nationals who have sought refuge within ourcountry” said His Excellency Dr. Omar Razzaz, Jordan’s Minister of Education.

Parents and caregivers will be able to access this program from an internet browser on their mobile phone or download the Read to Kids app from the Google Play Store. The books are curated to match children’s interests and developmental readiness from birth through age twelve.

Worldreader plans to launch Read to Kids Jordan in late 2017. The program will be made possible through a $1 million grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), with additional support from Jordanian social and education entities. The organization is seeking additional funding and support from organizations wishing to help promote reading and education to refugees in Jordan.

“Worldreader is an exemplary organization providing critical literary resources to enhance children’s learning and educational development,” said Andreas Dracopoulos, Co-President of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. “SNF is proud to partner with Worldreader on Read to Kids Jordan, a critical initiative that aims to support early literacy programs for 50,000 Syrian and Jordanian children, and as a Foundation to continue to respond to the devastating crisis and its impact on refugee and host community children.”

“At a time when world leaders are closing their doors to refugees, conflict-affected families need every tool to ensure bright futures for their children,” said David Risher, CEO and Cofounder of Worldreader. “We have seen firsthand the impact that digital reading has on children and families in India and we are proud to bring this same opportunity to all children in Jordan—including those who have been affected by the worst humanitarian crisis of our time—through the Read to Kids program. Every child should be able to benefit from the magic of reading.”

For more information about Worldreader, click here.