The Winner of IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award 2016

Kouhdasht

Geographical Location: Kouhdasht, Lorestan Province
Age-group: Preschool to 6th grade of Elementary School
Number of children: 3815
Number of teachers: 111
Start Date: August 2014

The Read with Me program started its activities in Kouhdasht from the summer of 2014 by the financial support of Fund for Education & Empowerment of Working Children and other benefactors. In the academic year of 2014/15, two rounds of workshops were held for 19 tutors who implement this program for 1347 children in Kouhdasht. 135 titles of quality books (444 books in total) were also sent to this region.

Another round of workshops was held in October 2015 for 41 teachers who then started implementing the program for 1113 students studying in 4 different Elementary Schools. 1926 books for children and adolescents, 42 books for teachers, 1775 activity sheets and 133 handbooks were also sent to this region in the second year of implementation. In May 2016, supplementary workshops including “Living Values” and “Story Elements” were held for teachers, wrapping up the project in Kouhdasht.

Overview

In August 2014 the RWM experts traveled to Kouhdasht for a three-day stay, visiting nomad villages and local schools accompanied by local authorities and also holding workshops for 19 teachers and tutors in the Farabi Research Center.

Participants were introduced to subjects such as “How to Choose Books Appropriate for Children”, “Story Elements”, “Reading Aloud Techniques” and “Theatre of the Oppressed” with a focus on games as means of class management and holding book reading sessions. They also learned different book related activities which are crucial in holding book reading sessions and are especially considered in the RWM program. The “Living Values” workshop was assigned to the environment and especially animals due to the needs of this region and its environmental issues.

In May 2015, the RWM experts paid their first visit to Kouhdasht, visiting 11 schools and holding the second round of workshops for local tutors. In these workshops, the RWM experts introduced subjects such as “Reading Aloud”, “Story Elements” and “How to Work with the Learning Sounds and Learning Alphabet Packages” using films, slides, games and other practical methods.

In December 2014, the RWM program was introduced to other local schools through the cooperation of the Department of Education in Kouhdasht. Accordingly, the Department of Education in Kouhdasht requested a two-day workshop for 41 teachers, tutors and school authorities from 3 Elementary Schools. This workshop was held on 14-15 October 2015 and included subjects such as “An Introduction to Children’s Literature”, “Quality Books”, “Story Elements”, “Reading Aloud” and “Book Related Dramatic Arts” in both theoretical and practical forms.

In December 2014, the RWM experts traveled to Kouhdasht to evaluate the performance of teachers and the progress of the program in this region. In addition to holding reading aloud sessions and performing book related activities, the teachers had prepared a registration notebook for the libraries of each classroom so that students could borrow books. According to the registration notebooks, 645 books had been borrowed by students in 4 Elementary Schools.

In May 2016, Supplementary workshops including “Living Values” (with a focus on “Peace”), Story Elements (How to make a poster based on the plot) and “How to Use the Encyclopedia for Young People” were held for 37 teachers of first to third grade of Elementary School, wrapping up the project in Kouhdasht.

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