SMD unveils novel idea to encourage students’ reading

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SHARJAH / Emirates Business

A new Sharjah Museums Department (SMD) initiative is encouraging local school students to bury themselves in books this year at its line-up of museum libraries.
Coinciding with UAE reads initiative, ‘Read at Sharjah Museums’ is a year-long scheme held to mark the UAE leadership’s recent declaration of 2016 as Year of Reading.
Hundreds of school students in Sharjah will be given a flyer listing SMD’s six museum libraries and invited to read 50 books over the course of the year. They will be handed booklets to summarise each title and a stamp card to log their progress. At the end of the year, SMD will review the students’ work and award prizes to the best work.
“Sharjah Museums Department has a tremendous range of libraries that provide a wealth of fascinating material for children to enjoy,” said Manal Ataya, Director-General of SMD.
“We are delighted that the UAE’s leaders have chosen 2016 to promote reading – a simple, yet vital past time. Children have so much to take in from books about art, culture, science and much more.
“Sharjah Museums Department is very proud to be motivating children to explore our wide range of literature and learning about the world around us.”
SMD’s six libraries are located at Sharjah Art Museum, Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization, Al Mahatta Museum, Sharjah Calligraphy Museum, Sharjah Archaeology Museum and Bait Sheikh Saeed Museum. At Sharjah Art Museum, for example, children can choose from 4,000 titles in Arabic and English, which they can enjoy at the museum’s dedicated reading hall.
Under the Read at Sharjah Museums initiative, children aged 7-12 will be required to first read a series of stories about Sharjah Museums featuring the official museum-loving cartoon characters Hamdan and Alya. Then they will be asked to scour the museums for titles of their choice, which they must read and summarise.
By December, they must submit a completed booklet with summaries of the 50 titles they have read. SMD will review the work and place them into prize-winning categories.
2016 was announced as Year of Reading in the UAE to create a new generation of book lovers. It was declared by UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa in order to consolidate the UAE’s position as a global capital for culture and knowledge.

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