Ten Months of ReadingStart!

In Uncategorized on April 2, 2014 at 10:30 am
Ten months ago, ReadingStart launched a fundraising campaign on, and a lot has happened since that we’d love to update you on! 
Finding the perfect partner clinics was a struggle at first, but we did manage to find two clinics that were exactly what the doctor ordered :) 
- Tahadi Clinic in Hay Al Gharb, Beirut 
Tahadi Clinic ( caters to one of Lebanon’s most marginalized populations. Located in the suburbs of Beirut, it serves families living beneath the poverty threshold, on under 200 USD/ month. It provides primary health services, healthcare assistance for urgent surgeries, pre-natal and neo-natal care, counselling and most recently, a ReadingStart program. 
When a parent of a child under the age of three comes in for a vaccine visit, the nurse at Tahadi will not only administer the shots, but she will also take a minute to discuss the importance of literacy activities at such a young age. She then gives the parents, free of charge, a package containing two board books and a brochure about reading. 
Alongside the intervention of nurses, we also run regular workshops with young mothers on how to use the books they receive to maximum effect. You’ll find some pictures of our work below. 
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Howard Karagheusian Commemorative Corporation in Burj Hamoud, Beirut 
This April, our second partner clinic, HKCC (, will begin running a ReadingStart program. HKCC provides a segment of Lebanon’s Armenian population, and most recently Syrian refugee population, with primary care services and counselling. Along the same model as Tahadi, we’ve enlisted nurses to advocate for reading in the early childhood years. We will also run workshops with new mothers to discuss how reading aloud can be made more interactive. 
HKCC will also be one of the first locations to run our “Let’s Read” ad campaign. You can check out the poster below.
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Due to the very very generous support of Asala Publishers, we were able to literally make every dollar count. Our magic formula? Every dollar donated = a book given! We will continue to work on making sure that our book packs are cost effective in order to ensure we reach the maximum number of children and families. 
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By the end of 2014, we will have reached a total of 1000 families, distributed a total of 2000 children’s books, ran a series of periodic workshops on reading aloud, helped establish several mobile in-clinic libraries and ran an ad campaign at schools and clinics to encourage reading as a family. We will also have distributed over 2000 brochures on the importance of reading in the early years and advocated for the Arab publishing industry through our blog and Facebook page
We couldn’t have done any of this without the generous support of our funders, partners and fans, and for this we thank you from the bottom of our hearts! 

“Spider’s Surprise” “مفاجأة العنكبوت”

In Uncategorized on March 30, 2014 at 7:42 pm

“Spider’s Surprise” was born out of a dire need to promote the use of Arabic among young children at a private pre-school in Amman, Jordan. Author Reem Abu-Ragheb noticed that the kids at her pre-school were speaking to each other in English, and so she decided to promote the use of Arabic through a week of activities that encouraged the kids to use the language for daily communication. The prize? A copy of a book designed specially to entertain while teaching a little something about numeracy and friendship. “Spider’s Surprise” is a delightful read, with easy to remember rhyme and a simple heartwarming story. And, as an added bonus, it’s available in both Arabic and English!





The book is available online at Maktabetcom,  Mintaad online lending library as well as at Book’ n’ Brush Preschool in Amman, Jordan.

Let’s Read – “هيا نقرأ” : Our New Poster is Ready!

In Uncategorized on March 25, 2014 at 9:46 am

Our new “Let’s Read” poster is ready! We’re very excited to share this wonderful illustration by Ashraf Al-Maani, which highlights both the importance and the fun of reading together as a family.

Please email us on if you would like a copy of the ready-to-print poster to hang in your classroom, clinic or establishment.


About the Illustrator: One of our favorite things is working alongside talented local individuals who are as passionate about books as we are, and Ashraf was one such talent. A graphic designer, cartoonist/ illustrator, video editor, web designer and passionate artist, Ashraf graduated from Al Zaytooneh University in Jordan in 2009. He us currently living in KSA, where he works for a design company on various key projects. You can check out more of his work on his Facebook page.




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