Contact innovator

Rana Dajani
Ribbon HUNDRED 2022
Changing mindsets through reading to create change-makers

We Love Reading

location_on Amman, Jordan
Changing mindsets through reading to create change-makers. We Love Reading (WLR) trains local volunteer adults and youth to read aloud to children books in the local language and culture in their neighborhoods to foster the love of reading leading to a mindset of "I can"
Dina Al-Maw'ed, Lebanon, We Love Reading Ambassador
“What makes me really satisfied is the feeling I have at every gathering. I know I am doing a great initiative for the disadvantaged children in my camp! This initiative makes me feel like a leader!"

Dina Al-Maw'ed, Lebanon, We Love Reading Ambassador


HundrED has selected this innovation to

HundrED 2022

Key figures

Innovation Overview

Target Group
497 790
2 279
Updated on May 10th, 2022
about the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

In 2006, Dr. Rana Dajani noticed that the children in her country don't like to read for fun. As a scientist, she researched the causes and found out that it was because they didn't have a role model. Research shows that the best way to make children read is through reading aloud to them. So she started reading aloud to children in her neighborhood to be the change she wants to see in the world.

How does your innovation work in practice?

We train adults and youth to hold read-aloud sessions for children in their neighborhoods. The training constitutes 1) the art of reading aloud 2) how to become a social entrepreneur and establish your own neighborhood library. The training can be held face to face, online, or through printed documents. WLR creates system change from the bottom up.
It is a community-driven evidence-based model where impact is measured through scientific research. We partner with top-notch universities to measure the impact of the program on children and adults. Research with Chicago university showed that reading to children stories about empathy for three months can increase their empathy levels considerably. Another research with Yale University showed that reading helps alleviate mental stress in both children and adult readers and helps build resilience. More research has been/ is being done and you can read more on this page:

How has it been spreading?

Through conferences, social media outlets, building the organization profile on different platforms, and most importantly through word of mouth by paying it forward. To facilitate the spread of the program; online training in 11 languages is provided for free to individuals from around the world who wish to become WLR ambassadors. Our goal in the next two years is to reach all countries around the world. In addition, to create a virtual community where all ambassadors can share experiences and get connected with each other so Asma from Zatari camp can talk to Maria in Argentina.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

If you are an individual you go directly to our training platform, register, and take the training. If you are a local NGO, contact us at so we can understand the context of implementation. If you serve a community with limited access to the internet we can send you documents that can be printed out and spread to whoever is interested in reading aloud.


HundrED Academy Review

Modeling approach applied has potential to be easily and sustainably adopted in other geographic regions. Scalability is predicated on availability of responsible adults who can also read and avail of developmentally appropriate literacy materials.

- HundrED Academy Member

Positive impact on both children and adults in this simple, scalable innovation. Develops early literacy skills, promotes love for reading and stories used to provide broad range of perspectives, develop empathy. Powerful, simple initiative!

- HundrED Academy Member
This innovation fosters literacy and the love for reading. Its community-based approach makes this initiative highly impactful while embracing the local culture, engaging families and fostering the sense of belonging in neighbourhoods.
Academy review results
High Impact
Low Scalability
High Impact
High Scalability
Low Impact
Low Scalability
Low Impact
High Scalability
Read more about our selection process

See this innovation in action

Reading about people’ feelings increases empathic concern and generosity in children
Final Report: The Impact of the We Love Reading Pilot Program on the Psychosocial Health of Participating Children in Zaatari Refugee Camp
We Love Reading - A Women’s Literacy Program in the Arab World
Reading social stories in the community: A promising intervention for promoting children's environmental knowledge and behavior in Jordan
The Value of the We Love Reading Program for Executive Functions In Jordanian Children
Evaluation of the effectiveness of implementing the We Love Reading Program on children’s reading attitude and practices
“Dad, read us a story!”
Comparing online and in-person surveys: assessing a measure of resilience with Syrian refugee youth
Reading for pleasure among Jordanian children: a community‐based reading intervention
The Effects of a Reading-Based Intervention on Emotion Processing in Children Who Have Suffered Early Adversity and War Related Trauma
This hero is the Middle East winner of the UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award. Meet Rana Dajani
We Love Reading in the times of Covid-19
We Love Reading in the Time of Corona - We Love Reading
We Love Reading: The molecular scientist striving to set up a library in every neighbourhood in Jordan
"How to change mindsets to create change-makers" Session with Dr. Rana Dajani
University professor studies child development in Jordan
The Happiness of Reading
Ethiopia: We Love Reading
How a Jordanian scientist spreads the love of reading around the world
Opinion | For Refugee Children, Reading Helps Heal Trauma
This Entrepreneur Got A Funder To Say: "Here's $1 Million. Do Whatever You Want"
Photojournalism: Creating Brighter Lives for Syrian Refugee Children
1,001 Story Times (SSIR)
WLR- No Boundaries
We Love Reading on Twitter
We Love Reading نحن نحب القراءة


Achievements & Awards

November 2021
HundrED 2022
September 2020
UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award – Middle East regional winner
April 2020
Rana Dajani Founder Of We Love Reading Joins Catalyst 2030
April 2020
Chosen Among 250+ Applicants As One Of A Select Few (14) To Be Part Of The Sharjah Access Acceleration Program For Literacy Start Ups
January 2020
Dr. Rana was elected as an Ashoka Fellow
July 2019
Profiled on Center for Education Innovations
July 2019
Innovation page created on
May 2019
Winner of the Science Technology Innovation (STI) forum for SDGs for innovation
December 2018
Discussed in the book Interdisciplinary Approaches to Human Rights: History, Politics, Practice
October 2018
Klaus Jacobs Award
September 2018
Chosen as one of the Best Practices in Refugee Education
March 2018
Significant contribution to literacy by an NGO or Charity, the World Literacy Summit in Oxford Uni.
February 2018
Listed on UNESCO's Effective Literacy and Numeracy Practices database
December 2017
Winner of Protect Urban Refugee Children - Innovation Challenge
November 2017
Featured in the book Integral Innovation: New Worldviews
September 2017
UNESCO Literacy Prize
November 2016
Featured as a case study in Melodena Stephens Balakrishnan's book Social Entrepreneurs
March 2016
Top Idea in's Amplify Refugee Education Challenge
November 2014
WISE Awards Winner
May 2014
Stars Impact Award Winner
May 2014
King Hussein Medal of Honor (Order of Al Hussein for Distinguished Contributions of the Second Class
December 2013
Featured in the book 10 Ideas for Learning in Pakistan
November 2013
Library of Congress Literacy Awards Honoree
November 2012
Highlighted in the book Innovation in Education
November 2010
Membership to the Clinton Global Initiative
November 2009
Synergos Arab World Social Innovator Award
May 2009
Finalist, Ahel Al-Himmeh Award

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