The Emirates College for Advanced Education (ECAE) has hosted a series of reading activities and workshops in commemoration of Reading Month 2024 and in line with the UAE's National Literacy Strategy. The initiatives aim to emphasise the value of reading as a foundational skill for education and personal growth, as well as promote a strong reading culture in the UAE, stimulating innovation, creativity and making reading a central aspect of the nation's knowledge-based economy.

Designed to appeal to a diverse audience, from school students to educators, the reading activities by ECAE have sparked discussions on the importance of reading in enhancing creativity, learning, personal development and skill development.

Dr May Laith Al Taee, Vice Chancellor of ECAE, said: “The UAE's wise leadership has always shown a profound commitment to reading, embedding it deeply within our society's culture. This emphasis on reading is not just about fostering a nation of readers; it's about laying a foundation for lifelong learning and ensuring that reading becomes a cornerstone of our cultural identity.

“At ECAE, we are inspired by this vision to emphasise lifelong learning through our reading programmes. Our initiatives are encouraging reading among students, educators, and the wider community, cultivating reading as a key skill and a valuable addition to our daily lives. Ultimately, our goal is to leverage reading as a tool to build a sustainable model of cognitive and cultural growth.”

As part of its ILearn programme, ECAE organised a session titled How fit for purpose are schools and classrooms as sites for contemporary learning?. Led by Professor David Pedder, Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic at ECAE, the session discussed the role of classrooms in supporting learning and teaching, exploring the need for and methods of restructuring these environments or considering their replacement to better serve student needs.

ECAE also organised a series of engaging sessions as part of its ongoing iRead initiative, aimed at fostering a love for reading among students, educators, and all reading enthusiasts. Among these, the Read and Reflect workshop, led by Dr Farah ElZein, Assistant Professor in the Department of Counseling, Special Education, and Neuroscience, engaged students from GEMS Winchester Abu Dhabi School in discussions and reflections on their readings. Following this, the Tale Talk - I Can session took place, a gathering that untied students from diverse backgrounds, promoting inclusivity and collective learning through the power of storytelling and dialogue.

During the Inspiring Words session, 17-year-old Amna Muhammad Al Mansouri, the winner of the seventh edition of the Arab Reading Challenge Championship at the state level, shared her journey with thirty second graders at Al Asayel School. Renowned author Hessa Al Muhairi, recipient of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award for Children’s Literature in 2018, captivated seventh-grade students from Yas School with her acclaimed book The Dinoraf, sharing the ideas and lessons of her novel and showcasing the transformative power of literature.