MAKTABA commences judging process for 8th Creative Reader Competition

ABU DHABI, MAKTABA at the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has announced details of the judging process for the eighth edition of its Creative Reader competition, which saw the participation of 470 students from public and private schools across the UAE.

The judging panel comprises 25 educators, librarians and teachers of cycles 1 and 2, who will evaluate participants virtually over Microsoft Teams in consideration of social distancing regulations. Winners will be announced during the month of June.

Students are evaluated based on their comprehension of books they have read, as well as their ability to pronounce words correctly. Judges will assess the students’ creative critical thinking, in addition to their verbal fluency and expressive reading. An important aspect of the judging process is to study the impact of reading on the student’s personality, and to identify the book or writer which had the most impact on the student. This will help to assess the success of the competition in motivating students to read, directing them towards books that suit their interests.

Shaikha Al Mehairi, Head of Library Services at DCT Abu Dhabi, said, “We are pleased with the number of participants this year – despite the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, nearly 500 students participated in the eighth edition of the Creative Reader competition, which reflects their passion for reading and demonstrates parents’ interest in turning reading into a daily habit for their children.”

She added, “The competition succeeded in encouraging students to read, as the average number of books read during the competition was 75 for each student. That’s a significant amount to be read in such a short period, especially when we consider that students still must attend classes and exams. The competition was also successful in encouraging students to use the databases offered by the Digital Library, as we witnessed a healthy turnout of students who borrowed Arabic and English books from the likes of ‘Nahl wa Nahla’ and ‘Overdrive’ databases.”

Fatima Altamimi, DCT Abu Dhabi Programming Lead and the Competition Supervisor, said, “One of the most important aspects of this year’s edition is the reading club, which was launched to help participating students boost their confidence and capabilities when discussing books with their colleagues. The club gave them the chance to talk about what they’ve enjoyed about the books they read and the challenges they faced, and the chance to ask questions about the competition. To maximise the benefits of the book club, and to increase chances for students to be part of it, we offered five sessions for children between six and 10 years of age, and five further sessions for teens aged between 10 and 15 years.”

Organised in cooperation with the Department of Education and Knowledge, the Creative Reader competition is designed to encourage children and adolescents to read in both Arabic and English, and to borrow books from public libraries or through the databases offered by the Digital Library.

It also serves to highlight the importance of the Arabic language as an intellectual and cultural vessel, while supporting the creativity of gifted students in the field of reading, directing their talents towards comprehensive community development, enriching the literary arena and spreading cultural and community values among members of society.

Source: Emirates News Agency