Today’s story comes from the Palestinian Initiative for Supporting Students (ESNAD.) LitWorld has partnered with ESNAD since early 2018, and their literacy initiatives have grown by leaps and bounds. The story of their growth truly embodies LitWorlds "self, community, world" approach to change. They started by addressing the individual needs of their kids, and have grown to affect change at a global level. From a storytelling workshop to an international reading competition, ESNAD inspires us with their ability to speak power to practice.
After collaborating on which reading activities ESNAD should conduct with their LitClubs, ESNAD led a reading and storytelling event with 30 girls from Nour El Hoda Applied Girls School. The Palestinian writer Ibtisam Barakat was a part of this event and discussed the importance of reading, writing, and how those tools had helped her understand her heritage. Reading pushed Barakat to become a writer, and she has authored many novels and historical books that share her story, her voice, and reflect Palestinian history. The importance of personal story and heritage resonated deeply with the LitClub girls. They felt seen, and grew a new appreciation for the power of their voice to share their story, and, by doing so, share the story of their community.
The LitClub love of reading was not restricted to inside school walls. Two weeks ago, LitClub girls from Nour El Hoda won the first prize at the national level for the Arab Reading Challenge. They now go on to compete at a regional level with schools and students from around the world. What started as a way to encourage girls to keep reading grew into a profound win for ESNAD, Nour El Hoda, and the global LitWorld movement.
Shooting stars to LitKids in Palestine and all the LitKids around the world working hard to read, write, and share their stories!