Bilingual Children in Zabol and Zahedan experience a different kind of education

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Children taking part in book related activities - Read with Me in Sistan and Balouchestan - March 2015In the final days of Iranian year of ۱۳۹۴, Read with Me experts traveled to Zabol and Zahedan in Sistan and Balouchestan to hold the last series of RWM workshops. A small group of benefactors, interested in cultural activities, accompanied RWM experts to visit the project’s implementation and to observe the effects of RWM on children’s learning.

On the first days of this travel, RWM experts, in addition of visiting some schools in Zahedan and three nomad schools around Zahedan, held the second series of RWM workshops including: “Complementary Learning Alphabet workshop”, “Knowing Story Elements Workshop” and “Environment Workshop” for teachers covered by this plan in the region.

Since the beginning of Read with Me project in these schools, teachers hold Reading Aloud Sessions for children with lots of creativity and they have created a different educational atmosphere by performing “Learning Sounds” and “Learning Alphabet” songs with musical instruments and puppet plays. Bilingual children in these schools who previously had serious problems in learning Persian, now in addition of learning easier and faster, involve in book related activities, so their other personal aspects and abilities grow.

Activities Related to Reading Aloud - Read with Me in Sistan and Balouchestan - Marhc 2016 Children playing with masks made by themselves from book characters - Read with Me in Sistan and Balouchestan - Marhc 2016

By following the RWM routine, on the next days, workshops were held for more than 60 teachers covered by this project in Zahedan. On workshops in the morning, complementary subjects about “Learning Alphabet” and a review on “Knowing Story Elements” were presented. Also pictures and films from previous visits to schools in Zabol and Zahedan were shown for teachers so they see creative works and ideas of their colleagues in similar work spaces.

The workshops in the evening were dedicated to “Living Values”. The main goal of this workshop is to help the children to know their abilities and to use them to solve their problems, to feel self-satisfied, to feel related and to feel responsible about themselves, their family, their society and the whole world. In these workshops the trainers gave a brief explanation about the necessity of teaching living values and concepts like peace, understanding, patience, responsibility and freedom to children and afterwards they performed activities related to Peace and understanding concepts of “Need” and “Demand” as examples for the teachers.

On the two final days, RWM experts left for Zabol to hold workshops for teachers in two schools covered in this city (Hejrat and Solouki). During these two days “Librarianship workshop” and “Complementary Learning Alphabet workshop” were implemented for about 20 teachers of preschool and first grade of elementary school. The project implementation process was visited in these schools and Living Value Books were delivered to teachers of three grades.

Teachers and tutors in RWM Workshop - Read with Me in Sistan and Balouchestan - March 2016 Teachers and tutors in Book Related Art Activities Workshop - Read with Me in Sistan and Blouchestan

During these visits Read with Me cloth pocket libraries were delivered to schools in Zabol and nomad schools in Zahedan so quality books are exposed in classes and students can reach them easily which brought them a great pleasure.

Also beside these workshops in Zahedan, a session was held with the students in Tarbiat Moallem University in order to introduce them the Read with Me project and manage to run workshops for them later.

Read with Me project has started its activity in Sistan and Balouchestan with the goal of Basic Literacy improvement through Literature. By running this plan, 12 schools in Districts 1 and 2 in Zahedan, 8 Nomad schools around Zahedan and two schools in Zabol were covered by RWM project. Since the start of this academic year, workshops have been held for teachers in these schools and books, handbooks and activity sheets are sent to these regions. So 3000 students in Zahedan and 300 students in Zabol are covered by the project and they benefit creative education methods and quality books.

Sistan and Balouchestan Education Office authorities and school principals have well received the project and they cooperate with the Institute for Research on the History of Children’s Literature for better implementation of the project. This project is supported financially by Omran Azarestan Construction Company in Zabol and Yavari Cultural Community in Zahedan.

Children in a Book Reading Session - Read with Me in Sistan and Balouchestan - March 2016 RWM cloth pocket library is seen on the wall

This post is also available in: Persian