> English
عن مكتبة الفانوس
قائمة الكتب للبساتين 2015-2016
قائمة الكتب للروضات 2015-2016


Welcome 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.

Maktabat al-Fanoos 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 Education in 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 Arab communities.


How the program works

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.

How one 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.

How we 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.

A 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

A 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 frequently.

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 Arabic only).

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

Evaluation of the program

At 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.

For highlights 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

Media coverage 

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

Chabin, Michele. (26.2.2014). "PJ Library-Like Program Comes To Jaffa". The Jewish Week

Grave-Lazi. Lidar. (19.2.2014). " New Program aims to teach love of reading to Arab Kindergarten children". Jeusalem Post

Contact Information

For further general information contact Galina Vromen, Director, Maktabat al-Fanoos, galina@hgf.org.il

Ministry of Education contact for the program: Fatma Kassem fatmaka@education.gov.il

Bidayat contact for the program: Margalit Ziv margalit.ziv@gmail.com