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Reading for Pleasure

Reading for Pleasure is an initiative by the Emirates Literature Foundation to inspire the love of reading among students. In 2023, the Foundation launched a 5-year Reading for Pleasure pilot programme in six schools spanning KG1 to Grade 6 in Dubai. The programme comprises of a robust schedule of literacy activities for students, resources for parents and educators, and an academic research project designed with local university partners

About the Project

The programme is designed to cultivate a habit of reading outside of students’ academic curricula. Therefore, students are given access to books and time to read for fun, without being tested. This both relieves them of any stress that might come from reading that is done as part of schoolwork, along with the pressures of testing.

Research has proved that reading regularly provides a plethora of benefits for children, including:

  • An increased vocabulary and enhanced grammar
  • More empathy, tolerance and increased positivity
  • Better mental and physical health
  • Greater self-confidence and better insight into human nature
  • A wider understanding of the world and their own and others’ cultures
  • An ability to excel in academic studies such as maths, science, history, geography etc.

Students who read for pleasure develop a life-long love of knowledge and learning.

The Three Pillars

The Reading for Pleasure Project engages all three participants in the education process and ensures that every participant receives the support they need to create a reading-friendly environment both in school and at home.


  • Reading for Pleasure time at school: Students at participating schools have 10 minutes dedicated to reading for pleasure midday or at the end of the school day
  • Classroom libraries: Classrooms in participating schools are equipped with a mini library, with new book selections arriving three times per school year
  • Library development: School libraries are optimized with culturally-relevant and age-appropriate books, comfortable reading nooks, and lower bookshelves
  • Authors visits: Monthly visits and interactive sessions by local children’s books authors
  • Extracurricular activities: Book-themed school activities catering to all areas of interest and field trips to foster curiosity and practical learning
Teachers and schools

  • Professional development: Teachers at participating schools attend monthly professional development sessions with experts in reading for children
  • Teacher feedback and support: Active dialogue between teachers, researchers, and the Foundation to identify key areas of pedagogical support

  • Parent meetings: Monthly parent meetings and coffee mornings to share best-practices in child care
  • Parents resources: Access to culturally-relevant children’s books for families, along with resources for educational activities at home

Reading for Pleasure Pillars

The Pilot Programme

The Reading for Pleasure Program (RFP) is the first in the region to academically research the impact of reading for pleasure on students’ well-being and cognitive development.

We work with researchers from three universities, focusing on three thematic groups. The study will contribute to the study of, but not limited to:

  • Neurodevelopment and behavior changes in schools’ children
  • Applied linguistics and psycholinguistics
  • Impact of reading for pleasure on dual language learners
  • School policy for student wellbeing and attainment
  • Effective teacher training and professional development
  • Development of reading comprehension, lexical development, textual enhancement
  • Arabic language learning and linguistic development

Our University Partners

Zayed University

University of Birmingham Dubai

United Arab Emirates University

Our Partner Schools

Contact us

If you have any further questions regarding the Reading for Pleasure project, you can email us at

Our Partners

The Reading for Pleasure project is made possible by the support of our community partners:

Emirates Literature Foundation
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