Reading Time: 2 minutes

Parents, teachers and students in Dubai shared their stories of reading together during a ceremony to recognise their contribution to #10Minutes10Days, an initiative designed to bring kids and parents closer to each other.

Children listened to stories being read in English and Arabic, while parents spoke about the positive impact that reading had on their relationship with their children.

Khadija, a mother of twins said: “Taking part in this initiative changed my life – it helped me bond with my kids. I started by reading to them, but now they read to me.”

Ahmed, a primary school student, said: “My dad started reading to me for #10Minutes10Days – I told him that the more time he spends reading with me, the less time he has to spend working.”

Jillian, a Year 1 teacher said: “Reading together brings so many benefits to families – it’s great to see this message being reinforced by schools and government.”

Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General of KHDA said, “Many parents accepted the challenge to read to their children for 10 minutes over 10 days, but the reality is that they read for much longer than that – 10minutes10Days doesn’t stop. What’s great about this initiative is that parents learned from their children as much as the children learned from the books. Reading together regularly has resulted in stronger, happier relationships between parents and their kids.

The #10Minutes10Days challenge encouraged parents to establish regular reading habits with their children by reading to them for a minimum of 10 minutes over 10 different days, and uploading an image to social media. More than 1000 parents in Dubai signed the pledge to read with their kids, and hundreds of images were shared on Twitter and Instagram.

A prize of a year’s supply of books for a parent and their child was donated by the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, while Book Munch Café offered a year’s worth of brunches to another prizewinner.

Data from international assessments shows that children who read for fun for more than thirty minutes a day achieve better academic results at school.

– KHDA Media