After holding the first series of “Reading with Babies and Toddlers workshops” in MahmoudAbad Cultural Center during summer 2015, trainers from the Institute for Research on the History of Children’s Literature started to work with another group of mothers on 6 January 2016. Their first workshop was held at MahmoudAbad Cultural Center. In this workshop 16 mothers with their babies and toddlers, two tutors from MahmoudAbad Cultural Center and a colleague from Ameneh Nursery were present.
On the first day, posters about the right way of holding the baby and reading aloud with him/her were installed on the wall and mothers were asked to express their comprehension of them. Then they were asked about the needs of their babies. Most of them mentioned basic needs such as food, clothing, sleep, security and peace. Afterward, Fereshteh Dabbagh, Read with Me project responsible in MahmoudAbad Cultural Center and “Reading with Babies and Toddlers Workshop” trainer, talked about the role of parents in the multi-dimensional growth of child especially lingual growth, child’s brain structure and the book reading affects on brain cells growth in a child. At the end of this session, the first Mother & Baby bag were delivered to trainees which included: “Baby Read-Aloud Basics”, a set of six cardboard books named “My First Library” and two spongy cubes and they were asked to start book reading with their babies.
After experiencing one week of reading with their babies, mothers returned for their second session on 13 January 2016 and they talked about their experiences about book reading with their babies and toddlers. In this session, Fereshteh Dabbagh explained the eight important principles of Reading Aloud, the characteristics of maternal language and its differences with childish language. She read aloud some books as a sample and clarified the deficiencies in mothers’ reading method and the causes of children’s lack of attention. Mothers were surprised seeing their babies’ reactions to trainer’s book reading and they understood the effect of the correct way of reading aloud on children’s attention and concentration.
“Reading with Babies and Toddlers sessions” are held in four courses during a year for mothers with babies from 0 to 3 years old. In this plan, mothers participate in four weekly sessions in the first course and learn read-aloud basics and receive first book bag including “Baby Read-Aloud Basics”, “My First Library” book set and two spongy cubes in order to read with their babies. Next courses are held every three months and mothers receive a new book bag on every session containing quality books for their children. So during a year mothers are guided through the correct path of reading with their babies and let their children benefit quality books from first years under the supervision of the institute’s experts. In these sessions, practical and theoretical education related to books are given to mothers. In addition to book reading, they learn the right way of singing lullabies and songs and telling stories with dolls and they also learn to make books for their babies by themselves.
This plan has been implemented in MahmoudAbad Cultural Center twice by now. In June 2015, the first group of mothers named “Chickens Group” started book reading according to this plan and they have delivered two book bags by now. The second book bag included: “Emma cardboard books” and the cloth book of “Where is squeaky?”
The second group has also participated in two weekly sessions by now and they will finish the first course by taking two more sessions and mothers will return after three months to take the second book bag and attend the second course.
This post is also available in: Persian