to Maktabat Al-Fanoos!
Maktabat al-Fanoos (Lantern Library) is an Arabic-language book program that strives to stimulate a life-long love
of books in young children and discussion of universal values at home and in
preschools. A reading readiness program, Maktabat al-Fanoos offers children in the Arab society in Israel and their families an opportunity to create a tradition of reading
stories together at home and enjoy meaningful conversations on the issues and
emotions raised by the stories.
empowers teachers and parents to help children develop their learning and
mother-tongue language skills, to enhance their emotional awareness and to
celebrate the richness of Arab culture.
The program was created by the Israeli Ministry of
partnership with two foundations:
* Harold Grinspoon
Foundation, founders of Sifriyat
Pijama book program for Hebrew
speaking children in Israel, and of the award winning North American program PJ Library™
* Price Family Charitable Fund,
founder of Bidayat (Beginnings) - Early Childhood Centers and programs in
During the school year, participating children are introduced to
high-quality picture books in a special Maktabat al-Fanoos edition. The books
are delivered to Arab preschool classes. Each book is introduced by the teacher
through reading and other activities. Then each child receives his/her own copy
to take home and keep, a gift to share with the family. Each book contains a
parent guide with suggestions of activities and discussions for parents to
enjoy with their children. In addition, teachers often initiate activities in
the classroom around the books, reinforcing the values in the book and
stressing the importance and joy of reading books as a family.
The program was launched in January
2014. In the school year 2014-2015, it will include 100% of Arabic-language
state kindergartens and pre-kindergartens in Arab throughout Israel,
approximately 80,000 children. Each child will receive eight books in the
course of the school year.
joins the program
Maktabat al-Fanoos works in partnership with the Israeli
Ministry of Education and local municipalities in all 104 Arab communities in
Israel. Children and their families receive the books for free through joint
funding of the Ministry of Education, the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and Price
Charitable Family Fund.
It is not possible to
join the program as an individual or to purchase Maktabat al-Fanoos editions
(with parent suggestions) of the books. However, all our book titles and the
parent suggestions are available on our website so that individuals can see the
titles of the books we use, obtain commercial versions through commercial
channels and access the parent suggestions on line from our website.
choose the books
Our book selection committee, made up of experts in preschool
education, child development and children’s literature, meets regularly and
reviews hundreds of books. We put an emphasis on books with a strong story line
that will engage young children while at the same time stimulating discussion
on values and folk culture as seen from a child’s point of view.
Representatives of the Israeli Ministry of Education are on the book selection
committee. We are in constant contact with publishers, children’s librarians,
teachers and authors who recommend books for us to consider.
Synopsis of the books in the program:
A synopsis in English of the books for kindergarteners in 2015-2016 is available by clicking here.
A synopsis in Arabic of the books for kindergarteners in 2015-2016 is available by clicking here.
A synopsis in English of the books for pre-kindergarteners in 2015-2016 is available by clicking here.
A synopsis in Arabic of the books for pre-kindergarteners in 2015-2016 is available by clicking here.
synopsis in English of the books for kindergarteners in 2014-2015 is available
by clicking here.
A synopsis in Arabic of the books for kindergarteners in 2014-2015 is available by clicking here
synopsis in English of the books for pre-kindergarteners in 2014-2015 is
available by clicking here.
A synopsis in Arabic of the books for pre-kindergarteners in 2014-2015 is available by clicking here.
A synopsis in English of the books used in 2013-2014 school year is available by clicking here
A synopsis in Arabic of books used in 2013-2014 school year is available by clicking here
The teacher’s role in the program
The books arrive in the class by courier with one book for every
child in the class as well as two classroom copies. The teacher introduces the
book to the class by reading it and often by doing additional activities. She
decides when the children will take the book home – after a first reading or
after the class has worked with the book repeatedly and the children are well
familiar with the book. She may continue working with the book until the next
book arrives or throughout the year.
We consider the teacher a
family educator whose role is pivotal to encouraging reading in the home. She
can do this by requesting that children do a project around the book with
parents at home and bring the results to the classroom, and/or she can ask children
if they have read the book with their family and encourage them to do so
The Ministry of Education,
Bidayat and other partner organizations train the teachers on how to
incorporate the use of the book in the classroom. Additional resources and
ideas for teachers are available on our website under the section for teachers (in
We consider teachers as
crucial to encouraging all aspects of the program not only in the classroom but
also in the home.
The parents’ role in the program
After a first reading of the book together, we suggest parents
read the book again with their child or children and talk about the ideas that
emerge from the book and/or do one or more of the suggested activities. We hope
parents and children spend the time to look at the pictures together, enjoy the
words or the rhymes, and ask each other what they see in the book. In our
experience, children often want to read books over and over again. The parent
guide can help make the reading a fresh experience every time.
Maktabat AlFanoos Newsletters for friends
Maktabat AlFanoos Newsletter for Friends - Oct.2016
Maktabat AlFanoos Newsletter for Friends - Oct.2015
Maktabat AlFanoos Newsletter for Friends - Feb.2015
Maktabat Alfanoos Newsletter for friends- May 2014
of the program
the end of the first six months of the program, we conducted our first
evaluation of its implementation in the classroom. For evaluation highlights
click here. For the
full evaluation click here.
Evaluation of the Program
In the 2014-2015
school year, we conducted a mid-year evaluation and an end-year evaluation.
of the mid-year evaluation click
here. For highlights of the end-year evaluation click here.
In June 2014, we
conducted an evaluation of implementation of the program in the classroom
during the first six months of operation. For evaluation highlights click here. For the full evaluation click here.
Ghert - Zand, Renee (11.5.2015). "Book project helps arab kids bid goodnight moon. With a bedtime story". Times of Israel.
Kuropatwa, Rebeca (23.5.2014). " Reading and books for everyone: PJ Library program expands concept by launching Lantern Library for Arab Israeli kids". Jewish Independent newspaper.
Klein Leichman, Abigail. (24.4.2014). "Children 's books light up Arabian nights". ISRAEL21c website
Mailtz, Judy. (12.3.2014). "For one American Jew, charity in Israel takes a different form". Haaretz.
Wiener, Julie. (28.2.2014). "PJ Library, Jewish kids’ books provider, expands to Arab Sector" .Jewish Telegraphic Agency
For further general information contact Galina Vromen, Director,
Maktabat al-Fanoos, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ministry of Education
contact for the program: Fatma Kassem email@example.com
Bidayat contact for the
program: Margalit Ziv firstname.lastname@example.org