I co founded a similar initiative in the UAE. It is a very successful model. We also included a craft to go along with the theme of the book. After the first year we involved parents and expatriate English speakers. We also partnered with book sellers to secure discounts on books. Ultimately the program was picked up by the UAE Government and funded by them. If you have not already, look at Dubai Cares for funding and if you are interested in expanding the program to Lebanon, let me know and I can connect you with a wonderful school. Also, for books in Arabic, Scholastic is based in Lebanon and could possibly provide books. Noor Art in the US, Fee Kanya Makan in the UAE. There are many publishers in the UAE. Scholastic has class box sets of books with multiple copies for the children to follow along. When we were able to provide take home books, the children were able to share then with their siblings. That worked out great.
I'm also producing a feature length film and the director and her crew hopefully will be in Jordan in summer. Would you and your program be available for filming?
Thanks for commenting. Yes, the plan is to use the Girls International curriculum as the foundation of the program. Girls International encourages each group to tailor the curriculum to their needs and to use it as a guidepost.
The first difference is that the curriculum would be translated into Arabic. We would select from the curriculum which topics are most relevant for our project, but it may vary as we expand beyond the initial high school. We also have Syrian women activists on our team to assist in tailoring the program to the needs of Syrian women and girls.
An example would be public speaking. In order to encourage public speaking, we would need to show them footage of other Arab women advocating for social justice. We would need to bring other Syrian and Syrian American women who use public speaking regularly to allow the girls and women to interact with and learn from them. We would also need to provide the skills, via the curriculum and opportunities to do public speaking. The model is an interactive approach that integrates media, experiential learning, book knowledge, lectures and guest speakers to provide an holistic environment for learning new skill sets. This is important when introducing skills that are culturally taboo, like girls and women speaking out in public. Giving them examples of other women, like them, who use that particular skill, can be helpful in the learning process. I found this model useful when working in the Middle East.
I'll go ahead and add text. I was not sure if it would be redundant and I'll check out the user experience map.