The Pontifical Mission Educational and Cultural Center is please to announce a Reading Challenge and Competition in Arabic that we are organizing for local school students. The competition will start this coming September 2019 and ends on May 2020.

This project is being funded by the Pontifical Mission Office in Jerusalem, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education – Bethlehem Directorate. The competition targets the participation of 4th and 5th graders from various schools in Bethlehem, Beit Jala and Beit Sahour.

This project was approved during the meeting which took place between Mr. Sami Marwa, Director of Education and Higher Education, Directorate of Education-Bethlehem and Mr. Gabi Kando, Project Director of the Pontifical Mission Office in Jerusalem, with the presence of the PMECC-Director, and one of its staff.

It is the aim of this activity to encourage and motivate the young Palestinians to read books and develop the love for reading at the very early age. Likewise, it is our hope that they will develop and improve their analytical and creative thinking skills through reading.

For this round, we are targeting the participation of various students coming from the following schools listed below:


  1. St. Joseph School
  2. Rosary School
  3. Terra Sancta College
  4. Frere School

Beit Sahour:

  1. Latin Patriarchate –Beit Sahour
  2. Lutheran School
  3. Greek Catholic School
  4. Shepherd’s Orthodox School

Beit Jala:

  1. Latin Patriarchate-Beit Jala
  2. Good Shepherd Swedish School
  3. Laura Vicuna-Salesian School
  4. Talitha Kumi
  5. Jerusalem School – Beit Jala
  6. Mar Afram

Two Government Schools:

  1. Nazareth School – Beit Sahour
  2. Al-Khulafa Secondary School for Girls – Beit Jala


The Reading Challenge and Competition consist of three different rounds:

QUALIFICATION ROUND (Sept. to Dec. 2019)

    • Read at least 40 story-books during the challenge as provided by the PMECC organizers within the given time of 3 months.
    • Books to be read should be taken from the challenge book lists or from the list of books provided to each school by the PMECC organizers or they may borrow from the PMECC library as long as they are library members.
    • Participant must comply the following requirements:
    • log in each time the Title and Author of the book read, (each book read is equivalent to 10 points)
    • provides an excellent Summary of each Book he/she read in order to gain points (a mark, ‘PASSED’ for every summarized book is equivalent to 5 points)
    • state the value(s) learned from the book or give the moral lesson of the story (1 point for each value cited)
    • Each participant must keep a record of his/her readings on line as well as to have a back-up file (will be provided by the PMECC organizers) ready anytime when the organizers would ask for it. (This will determine the number of participants that each school has.)
    • Incomplete student logs will be disqualified.
    • The student’s log will not be counted if it does not meet all of the requirements, so make sure all the information is completed online.
    • Submission Deadline of the complete list of 40 books read, including the title and author of the book, summary of each story, and the moral lesson of the story, will be on or before the 31st December 2019.
    • The participant automatically gain points each time he/she would log in the book he/she reads, able to give a brief summary of each book and give the moral lesson learned. (Please refer to the Point System provided below)
    • Participant should always coordinate with the School Coordinator and ask his/her confirmation regarding the number of books read and have registered online.
    • Announcement of the names of participants who qualified for the preliminary round will be on the 13th of January 2020, as schools will be informed and it will be posted likewise on the PMECC website.

PRELIMINARY ROUND (January to April 2020)

    • Only the participants who qualified, passed the required points and complied the requirements as confirmed by the PMECC organizers shall be joining this preliminary round.
    • Participants will have to read a maximum of 60 books within the given time, i.e. from January to April 2020.
    • As usual, the participant must follow the same previous procedure of registering online to the PMECC ‘Website & Reading Competition Portal Development Section’ and continue logging in again under their respective school and comply the following requirements:
    • Title, Author of the book (each book read is equivalent to 10 points)
    • Brief and excellent Summary of each book (a mark, ‘PASSED’ for every summarized book is equivalent to 5 points)
    • Moral lesson (1 point for each value cited)
    • Give answer to the 5 questions provided in each book read. Just click any book you have finished reading, which will be under time limit. (Type of Questions: Multiple Choice and True or False). (A correct answer to every question is equivalent to 15 points each)
    • Repeating the process of answering the questions is prohibited, as the program will automatically block it. Hence, it will forfeit the participant for gaining points.  
    • Submission Deadline of the list of 60 books read including the following: title and author of the book, brief summary of each story, moral lesson of the story, and the answers to the 5 questions provided in each book read on or before 25th April 2020.
    • This will be considered valid only after the School Coordinator gives his/her confirmation that the participant have read the number of books required to qualify him/her for the Final Round and update their online record to reflect this.
    • Announcement of the names of participants who qualified for the Final Round will be on 30th of April 2020.


    • The participant who read the most book and passed the required points set by the organizers will qualify for the final round of the contest, i.e. accumulation of the books read starting from the Qualification until the Preliminary Rounds.
    • Only the participant who received a confirmation not later than April 30, 2020 from the PMECC organizers will qualify for the Final Round.
    • Actual Date for the Final Round–May 5, 2020 – 9:00 – 1:00
    • Venue:  Pontifical Mission Educational and Cultural Center
    • Participants will be given the same book for all to be summarized on the spot.
    • It will be given to all the contestants for familiarization, 15 minutes before the contest will start.
    • They should write a summary  of the book on an A-4 paper provided by the organizers with at most 50 words.
    • Likewise, the participant should be able to cite the lesson learned from the story.
    • Participants will be asked to answer 5 questions by the judges in relation to the books they have read on the spot. Every correct answer to every question asked will have an equivalent of 15 points.
    • Participants accumulate points through the following process:
      • able to read a book
      • give a brief summary of the book read
      • give correct answer to every question asked
      • cite the moral of the story.
    • The winner is determined by the points system: 1st Prize, 2nd Prize, 3rd Prize and Consolation Prizes
      • 10 points for every book read
      • 5 points for the summarized book with the passing mark, “PASSED”
      • 1 point for each value cited
      • 15 points for every correct answer to the questions asked
      • 50 points for the book summarization, during the Final Round (based on the criteria provided below in judging summarization of a book)


Winners will be announced on the same day, right after the contest!


  • GRAMMAR – 20%


85 to 100%  ————————————————– 50 points

65 to  80% ————————————————– 30 points

45 to  60% ————————————————– 15 points


Answer the 5 QUESTIONS that will be taken randomly from any of the 100 books that the participants must have read.


The winning students will receive a total cash prize of $600, to be distributed among the three major winners, i.e. 1st PRIZE – $300, 2nd PRIZE – $200 and 3rd PRIZE – $100

The winning school with most numbered participants after the Preliminary Round results will receive either a cash prize or anything that the school would need amounting to $5,000.00.


All the participating schools will receive a trophy/plaque.