WIZO conducts a special project for Book Week:


Special Survey;  One in every four children in Israel goes to sleep without a book.

•In honor of Israel Book Week WIZO conducted a survey amongst parents of children in the Day Care Centers revealing the reading habits of the Israeli family:  Half of the parents read a story every day but mainly prior to bed time and not during the course of the day.  Most children prefer games and television over books, and in most homes, mothers are those who are responsible for reading.

•The most loved books of our children:  An Incident with Five Balloons, The Lion who loved Strawberries, A Flat for Rent, The House of Yael, and books about Jewish sages.

•In at attempt to raise awareness to the importance of reading books, WIZO has set out practical recommendations for parents, to encourage reading and reading habits amongst their children.

•In WIZO’s 200 Day Care Centers family activities take place to encourage reading.

A new WIZO survey reveals the reading habits of the Israeli family:  In honor of Israel Book Week which will begin tomorrow, and last for ten days, WIZO has gone out with a campaign to encourage reading and raise awareness to the importance of reading from the earliest age, and during the first year of life.  This morning the movement published a survey on the reading habits amongst children and families.  The survey, which was carried out by ‘Dialogue’ amongst 450 parents and children in the early age group, revealed the information about the importance of books in the family in Israel and shows the need for education about reading.

Amongst the prominent results of the survey:

•The frequency of reading books.
  Despite 50% of parents meticulously reading to their children almost every day, one third only reads twice a week and a quarter of the parents said that they hardly read at all to their children or very little.  When we asked the parents to what degree their children are exposed to stories, one thirds said that their children hear the stories only from the television, computer, shows or story hour, and not from reading the books themselves.

•A story and to sleep.  Approximately 70% of parents only read books to their children at bed time, and only one third also include reading during the course of the day, during other activities.  Despite reading at night, one quarter of the parents said that their tiredness, and that of their children, causes them to watch television prior to sleep, and one third said that their children play various games before going to sleep.

•Closest to mother.  Findings show that as well as bringing up children during the day, the task of mothers continues into the night.  Amongst 70% of the families the mother takes responsibility for reading stories to the children and encouraging reading, only 15% of fathers take any part in this important undertaking. Amongst 14% of the families the grandparents are those who read the stories.

•Not far from the tree.  The survey also examined the preferences of the children for books and the results showed the importance of educating towards the love for reading already at an early age.  Whereas half of the children prefer to play with games during their leisure time, one third likes to watch television, or to play on a computer/tablet, and only 16% agree to hearing or reading a story.

•A book subscription.  45% of the families subscribe to the local library, of which 16% only visit once a week, 15% visit the library once in two weeks, 13% just once a month.  55% have no subscriptions for the library.

•Personal example.  Although it is known that young children like to copy their parents, half of the children never see their parents read books.

•The most loved five books of children.  Children are loyal to the classics.  The books that the parents testified to their children’s preferences are An Incident with Five Balloons, The Lion who loved Strawberries, A Flat for Rent, The House of Yael, and books about Jewish sages.


Professor Rivka Lazovsky, Chairperson of the World WIZO Executive said:  “Book Week is an opportunity to raise awareness to the importance of reading books, nurturing the culture of reading and for parents to spend quality time with their children.  As an organization that educates tens of thousands of toddlers and children we view the importance of improving the quality of life for them, and their families, in all fields.

Hassida Danai, Chairperson of the Early Age Division emphasizes:  ‘ Reading a book to a child strengthens his language skills, teaches him about the world, develops his sensitivities and his ability to communicate and bond with others.  Reading develops attention and concentration, and, of course, strengthens the bonds between the parent and the child.  The survey that we carried out proves that investing in a child at an early age is important, and WIZO has a central role in educating the next generation of Israelis, and in reducing culture gaps in Israeli society.   Thanks to the support of the federations we are successfully carrying out this mission.’

Dr. Naomi Moreno, Director of the Early Age Division and Initiator of Projects for the Encouragement of Reading:  Adds that the survey proves the importance of education towards reading habits.  It is important for book reading to become an inseparable part of the communication between parent and child and a way to learn values.  We recommend beginning at a very young age and implementing WIZO’s recommendations for the encouragement of reading.

During the last week special activities took place in all WIZO’s Day Care Centers to encourage families to read books  and this morning the organization published a list of recommendations to parents in order to encourage the reading of books and reading habits already from an early age.

The Ten Commandments of WIZO for the Encouragement of Reading Books from an Early Age.

1.Read and Enjoy.  Read books to your children from the early age and make it enjoyable.  The reading of books has an effect on the development of the child, develops his creativity and imagination.  It is important that you relay reading as a positive action rather than a chore.  Children will not develop a love for books if they feel that their parents do not really love to read the books to them.

2.Choose a book that is suited to the age, and reality, of the child.  Make sure that the book is not too long and has pictures and drawings.  Explain how the pictures complete the story.  Stories about diaper training, beginning kindergarten, can also help you, and your children to cope with new realities. 

3.Active Reading.  Sit next to your child and not opposite him, so that he can see the pictures, guide the reading with your index finger which can contribute to reading skills.  Ask question whilst reading the story and encourage the child to complete sentences, to turn the pages, etc.  Ask questions regarding what is written.

4.Repetitive Reading.  Go over, and over again, the same story as this makes the unknown into familiar, secure territory.  With repetitive reading  you can relate to different aspects which were not recognized during the first reading (small details).

5.A Permanent Motif.  Reading books with a continuous motif throughout the story, and with gradual objectives (for instance:  Alone on the rug, one fine day, Eliezer and the carrot).

6.Permanent Ceremony.  Choose quality time to read a book with a routine such as prior to falling asleep, or during the afternoon hours.

7.Easily Attainable. Leave books in the children’s rooms, teach your children to look through them, take your children to book stores, discuss with them which books to buy.

8.Go to the Library.  Take your children to the library, choose books and bring them home.

9.Not only before sleeping.  Take books on outings and to family visits, try to find books that are connected to outings.

10.Personal Example:  Read books around your children as a personal example.  Children will watch you and adapt your reading habits.

 WIZO, the Women's International Zionist Organization, is a non-party international movement dedicated to the advancement of the status of women, welfare of all sectors of Israeli society and encouragement of Jewish education in Israel and the Diaspora.
 WIZO is an international movement of Zionist women, founded in England in 1920. Today, there are over a quarter of a million volunteers in 50 Federations throughout the world, working actively for the welfare of the citizens of Israel and providing help and support in the operation of hundreds of education and welfare projects and services.