World Book Partners with Jordan Companies for Bilingual Children’s Education Website

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Kids eLearn will be the ultimate research destination for children and their teachers looking for trustworthy and reliable reference content in Arabic and English.

World Book, Inc. today announced a partnership with Jabal Amman Publishers, a highly esteemed publishing company based in Amman, Jordan, to build a bilingual children’s reference database entitled Kids eLearn. Kids eLearn is a first-of-its-kind Arabic-language reference website developed specifically for elementary school-aged students. The site features simple navigation, easy-to-read articles, and thoughtful hands-on activities to engage young learners. Added-value features, such as ‘My City,’ enable students to connect more easily with the community and world around them by introducing them to local history, culture, and important people through an assortment of interactive games, vivid media components, and age-appropriate articles. Additionally, an English-language reference resource is included to open a new world of learning and language fluency.

“We are thrilled to partner with Jabal Amman on this exciting addition to our collection of World Book Web databases,” said World Book president Don Keller. “Benefiting from their depth of experience in publishing and knowledge of the Middle Eastern education market, we are confident Kids eLearn will be well received amongst students throughout the Middle East as well as in Jordan. “

“Jabal Amman is pleased to work with World Book on this project,” said Sinan Sweis, director. “With the widespread adoption of digital technologies, a bilingual database for children and their teachers to use will prove an essential component of school library collections.”

World Book and Jabal Amman have enlisted the expertise of one of Jordan’s top multimedia companies, Media Plus, to help develop the Kids eLearn website.

Key features in Kids eLearn include:

--Thousands of easy-to-read articles written at an appropriate level in both English and Arabic;

--Imaginative design with engaging images and illustrations;

--Interactive games and activities to promote content retention;

--Featured video with Arabic content;

--Science projects with clear steps to enable children to learn with hands-on experiments; and

--“My City” page with resources specific to individual cities.

Once launched this fall, Kids eLearn will be the perfect research destination for children, putting thousands of topics at their fingertips. Teachers and librarians can refer to Kids eLearn in lesson plans and homework assignments; parents can use Kids eLearn at home to satisfy a child’s inquisitive mind.

With more than sixty percent of the Middle Eastern population under 30 years old and unprecedented growth in technology infrastructure initiatives in countries throughout the Middle East, demand has never been higher for reliable online reference resources for Arabic-speaking youth. Because the number of age-appropriate online reference resources currently available for Arabic-speaking students is limited, Kids eLearn will fill a gap in elementary reference collections.

According to a study conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, students who enjoy reading fiction tend to be the strongest readers. Reluctant readers tend to avoid fiction because they prefer texts that have more direct relevance to their own life. Consequently, encouraging students to read a diverse range of materials, including nonfiction, can help make reading a habit for all young readers.

In addition, it is fundamentally important that elementary students have access to reference materials that are not only accurate, but written at a comprehensible level. One of the main goals of Kids eLearn is to provide students with a learning tool that serves their individual reading comprehension needs.

Further, studies have shown that many struggling readers suffer from a lack of motivation to read. Experts suggest that students need to be encouraged to self-select their reading materials from a diverse range of texts. In this way students are free to develop connections between their own interests and the text. Electronic and visual media have proven particularly effective at spurring motivation in this regard. The varied array of articles, activities, and texts included in Kids eLearn will be sure to capture the interest of Arabic-speaking youth.

World Book and Jabal Amman are excited about their innovative partnership and its potential to engage and inspire young learners. The site, which is scheduled to launch late fall 2012, will be introduced to schools in Jordan in spring 2013. Based on the demonstrated appeal and utility of Kids eLearn in Jordan, World Book and Jabal Amman will introduce this powerful digital reference and learning tool into other markets across the Middle East. Through an intensive product training and professional development program, World Book and Jabal Amman will equip teachers and librarians with the skills they need to incorporate Kids eLearn into classroom instruction. Beyond making teachers and librarians comfortable with site navigation, a principal goal of such a training program is to provide support and guidance as to how digital resources can enhance existing teaching methods and improve student comprehension.

About World Book

World Book, Inc. is committed to creating educational products that meet the highest standards of editorial excellence in print and digital forms. This commitment has resulted in a wide range of products including the quintessential World Book Encyclopedia and the World Book Web, a comprehensive and authoritative online solution meeting the diverse information needs of students, educators, public library patrons, and families.

About Jabal Amman Publishers

From its establishment, Jabal Amman Publishers has been a leader in the marketplace and has sought to set the bar for excellence in knowledge publishing. They aspire to help revive a reading culture in the Arab world, and to advance education and progress in the region. In addition to three publishing imprints and an interactive web-education arm, Jabal Amman Publishers is the regional representative for a number of top international publishing companies in the field of applied visual arts.

About Media Plus

Media Plus is an independent digital agency that specializes in delivering consistent, memorable user experiences across interactive multimedia, website design and development, audio and visual productions, and animation. Media Plus’ values lead the team’s day-to-day commitment to innovate, serve, and provide their clients with memorable, interactive online experiences built on world-class excellence, continuous innovation, un-rivaled quality. Media Plus is an award-winning company, collecting a total of 85 awards in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011 at the Jordan Web Awards in Amman and Pan Arab Web Awards in Dubai.

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Jennifer Parello