A new campaign starts today in the emirate’s public libraries and will feature workshops, reading challenges and events with top authors

Abu Dhabi’s Department Of Culture And Tourism has today launched Around The World Summer Programme, a new initiative aimed at getting kids reading books instead of spending their summer holidays glued to gaming consoles.

The campaign is set to take place in the emirate’s public libraries from today, and runs until August 31. It’s part of Abu Dhabi Summer Season, a series of live events taking place in the capital over the next six weeks. Libraries taking part include Al Wathba Library, Al Marfa Library, Mazyad Library, Al Bahia Library and Khalifa Park Library, and Al Ain’s Zayed Central Library.

So how can your kids get involved? The Summer Reading Challenge is their chance to read 30 books from all over the world this summer. It’s aimed at chilren aged six to 16 and you can either register in person at one of the emirate’s National Library branches, or online here.

Meanwhile, the Young Librarian programme is your kids’ chance to become a librarian for a month. It’s for students aged eight to 14 and they’ll get to work in a library for a seven-hour shift. You can register them here.

There’ll also be a series of workshops taking place that will focus on arts, crafts, language and storytelling – subjects that will be covered include découpage, recycling, origami, toy making, interactive theatre, as well as Emirati etiquette, information security in the virtual world, and programming robotics. Children wanting to learn a bit of financial acumen can also join a workshop called My First Business – they’ll be taught how to come up with a business plan. Each library will also host cultural events every week celebrating a country or culture.

“We are launching the Summer Programme with the aim of encouraging our children and the youth of the UAE to develop healthier reading habits and to learn more about international cultures,” says Abdullah Majed Al Ali, Acting Executive Director of the National Library Sector, DCT Abu Dhabi. “The benefits of reading for pleasure, whether story books, fact or fiction, especially at a young age, not only allows children to read and process information better, but also increases empathy, curiosity, and opens up doors for cultural understanding. The Summer Programme was designed to instill curiosity for reading and a love of knowledge, and the variety of activities, workshops and initiatives being launched across our public libraries is testament to the range of interests and skills that the National Library sector can help support and nurture within young people.”

Young readers will also get to meet Arab authors over the next few weeks, including Maitha Al Kayyat, Sahar Najaa Mahfouz, Sara Al Hammadi, Mariam Saqr Al Qasimi, Badria Al Shamsi, and Nadia Al Najjar, Daphne and Gerald Mercer, Sarah Sillis, Ahmed Al Shoibi and Khadijah Kudsi.

– For more about Abu Dhabi straight to your newsfeed, follow us on Facebook.