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A donation of books to the children of the NSWAS Primary School

Saturday 11 August 2007

On the very last day of the school year, the children of the NSWAS Primary School were thrilled to receive a preview of the books donated to them by the Global Fund for Children.

Multiple copies of ten different, colorful books were spread before them on a table in the school library and – despite this being the last day – the children could not hide their enthusiasm. The English teacher, Raida Hatib, invited the classes in one by one, to get a sneak peek of the books that will be presented to the children at the beginning of the school year.

The story of the book donation took several months to unfold, beginning with a correspondence between the American Friends of NSWAS and The Global Fund for Children. The latter is a foundation that specializes in the publishing and distribution of books and resource guides for young readers.

A few months ago, Executive Director of the American Friends of NSWAS, Deanna Armbruster, brought samples of several books from the Fund, and Raida chose the copies that she thought were most suitable for the various age levels of the school. The Fund, which sought to give the books directly to the pupils rather than to the school, promptly dispatched 17 copies of each of the ten selected books. The shipment arrived, after clearing customs, in June.

In order to maximize the benefits of the donation, Raida’s idea is for the children to swap the books between them – and for this reason, the books will be distributed at the beginning of the school year rather than at its end.

A slight apprehension before distributing the books was the possibility that the children’s enjoyment of the books would be lessened by their need to struggle with the English text. So while the children were previewing the books, Raida was also gauging their reactions and level of understanding. From the photos taken, however, the delight of the children with the books is obvious.

The Global Fund for Children is clever to create books that will appeal to young readers, even in the age of computers and multimedia. Raida, too, had carefully selected those books that she believed would be of interest to the Arab and Jewish children of the school. As the photos reveal, the children helped one-another understand the text, while Raida, their English teacher, looked on proudly.

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