The Sharjah Child Friendly Office (SCFO), a subsidiary of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs (SCFA) in Sharjah, has launched a back-to-school campaign on its social media platforms to encourage and reassure children and young people that it is safe to return to classrooms, following the long summer vacation and the switch to distance learning in the wake of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic last year.SCFO’s campaign features a range of interactive competitions for children and young people, social media posts and videos designed to encourage their return to classrooms and guide parents on how to support the shift to the school environment.All this material can be accessed by searching SCFO’s social media handle @sharjahchildfriendly .In addition, the campaign is hosting virtual reading sessions of three stories chosen in collaboration with Kalimat Group, a UAE-based publisher specialised in developing Arabic, English, and Braille books for children and youth.Authored by Sahar Naja Mahfouz, the featured books includeToot Toot the Train, a book for the 5+ age group, which tells the story of the amazing journey of a train across Sharjah’s landmarks. Our Big Dream for the 7+ age group, narrates the story of a group of children participating in a drawing competition while A Mystery in the City, written for young adults, takes readers on a mystery trail in an adventurous fairy world.The campaign’s social media posts have been thoughtfully designed to engage children in fun adventures with the lead characters of these three books.Dr. Hessa Khalfan Al Ghazal, Executive Director of SCFO said: “Our back-to-school campaign aligns with our efforts to support students as they start a new academic year. To realise our vision of a creative, story-based campaign, we selected quality books that provide emotional support to young schoolers and motivate them to read, while enabling parents to guide their children in starting the academic year in high spirits.”Dr. Al Ghazal noted that the campaign’s activities strengthens Sharjah’s status as a child and youth friendly city, and furthers its commitment to their wellbeing. It also reflects the collaborative efforts of Sharjah’s government departments to enhance children’s wellbeing and inform parents on the importance of balancing school education with other learning sources to raise an empowered generation.“The campaign also aims to bring children and books together, enhance their relationship with their parents and the entities involved in childcare,” she added.The Sharjah Child Friendly Office (SCFO) was established under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and his wife, Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Supreme Council of Family Affairs (SCFA), to work in collaboration with relevant bodies to design and implement strategies and programmes to promote the rights of children and youth in Sharjah.

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