ABU DHABI // One of the country's largest philanthropic organisations has established a Dh3 million (US$816,000) fund to promote reading. The Emirates Foundation is inviting applications from organisations interested in running programmes that promote an interest in books and reading. The fund, entitled Emirates Reads, aims to foster programmes for both children and adults with a particular focus on Arabic language and initiatives aimed at Emiratis. A statement from the foundation said initiatives could range from holding seminars, discussion groups for parents on how to read to their children, establishing school book clubs, providing teacher training on how to develop learning and reading skills, programmes that would give incentives for reading, producing entertaining books, and providing school tools and facilities for children such as books and bags.
"Although preference will be accorded to applicants from inside the country, anyone can apply," said Khuloud al Nuwais, the foundation's director of projects. "This goes in line with the central goals of the foundation." Ms al Nuwais, said encouraging reading helped "open frontiers, enhance self-development and academic achievements". "We hope that this programme will contribute to fostering creative ideas and developing leading and useful projects that would encourage reading," she added. The initiative is partly funded by General Holdings Corporation, the country's largest industrial conglomerate.