Many children at risk, including most Afikim children, are not exposed to the world of reading, and their reading skills suffer as a result. These children not only miss out on the wonders that reading offers, but run the risk of continued academic failure.
The Afikim program focuses on children in Israel who come from impoverished backgrounds, and who have demonstrated the willingness and ability to make more of themselves. Many are first generation immigrants from countries like Ethiopia who are struggling to fit in and make new lives in a challenging environment.
In honor of her Bat Mitzvah, Hailey Goldberg hopes to make a difference in their lives. Together with her family she has established a Reading Initiative in the AFIKIM Afternoon centers. By establishing libraries in the AFIKIM centers, Hailey and her family hope to expose the AFIKIM children to a new and exciting world by making books readily available.
They hope to make it easier for these kids to accelerate their path out of poverty, and gain the reading skills that are so important to living a productive, enriched life.
Each library will feature age and level appropriate books that the children can borrow on a weekly basis. The Hailey Goldberg Reading Initiative has already taken off with a number of generous gifts and the first library will be ready to go with the opening of the school year, September 1. We look forward to building these libraries together and to impacting the lives of our children through the wonderfully imaginative world of books.
Am Oved joins the Reading Initiative
Upon hearing of the initiative of a young girl living abroad to encourage �reading amongst children at risk, the Am Oved Publishing house, one of Israel’s largest publishing houses, has generously offered to reduce the cost of books purchased for the establishment of these libraries.� In addition, Am Oved has pledged to sponsor �a literary dialogue� in each of the centers where writers and poets will meet periodically with the AFIKIM children and parents to discuss literature.
The first library will be established in the AFIKIM Kiryat Malachi branch and will soon be copied to Kiryat Shmona and Jerusalem. Eventually we hope to establish both a children’s and adult library in each branch that will include a schoolbook lending library, literature, recreational materials and resource materials.
They say that one good deed leads to another and we look forward to seeing where this chain of good deeds started by Hailey Goldberg will eventually lead us.