By summer coming to an end, children from families of seasonal workers in brick-making kilns of south Tehran received book packages, a farewell gift from the Institute for Research on the History of Children’s Literature, carrying memories and experiences from participating in the book reading sessions of Read with Me.
These children have been participating in group book reading sessions held in the Supportive Education Center of MahmoudAbad for 2 consecutive years. These sessions are carried out by tutors at this center under the supervision of Read with Me experts. At the end of this project, children took book packages as well as their experiences in literature and related activities to their hometowns as souvenirs.
This summer, the book reading sessions of Read with Me were carried out in 4 brick-making kilns: Aref, Sedaghat, Ghamar and Jom’ehPour by 10 tutors from the Supportive Education Center of MahmoudAbad. Overall, 90 children participated in these sessions which were held once or twice a week.
Both Children and Adults Getting Their Share of Joy through Book Reading
Fereshteh Dabbagh, the Read with Me expert in charge of this center, said in an interview with Ketabak.org:
“Last summer, children had to gather in the Supportive Education Center of MahmoudAbad, to participate in the book reading sessions. But some of them encountered difficulties because they either had to work alongside their parents in the brick-making kilns, or the center was too far away from where they lived. Therefore, this year with the purpose of covering every child within the brick-making kilns, tutors with bags full of books, held their sessions in the kilns to let all children and even adults benefit from book reading.”
Encouraging a Love for Books and Reading in Children
She also added:
“We were surprised by how well children responded to this project. They were very aware. They liked books and understood the stories. At the end of each story they made comments and put their experiences to discussion. When the session would come to an end, they insisted that we’d read for them the next day as well.
One of the more interesting behaviors I saw from them was when we gave their book packages at the end of the project. They’d come to us one by one and thank us; without even being reminded of doing so by anyone. They were truly happy. They kept peeking through the packages and continuously thanked us. I feel like we have reached our number one goal: encouraging a love for books and reading. We have given the joyful experience of reading and a love for books to a lot of children in the past few months.”
The seasonal workers in brick-making kilns of south Tehran migrate from faraway villages each summer. These workers include Iranian and non-Iranian immigrants.
The Supportive Education Center of MahmoudAbad has joined the Read with Me project since February ۲۰۱۵٫ The Child-centered library of this center was established in July 2015 by the efforts of the Institute for Research on the History of Children’s Literature and a benefactor in the framework of Read with Me. This library has 156 members and gives services to the children and adolescents of this neighborhood.
Read with Me is a book reading promotion program for low income families, deprived children and children in crisis. This program is based on providing quality books for this group of children and adolescents who live in situations where they do not have access to appropriate books. IRHCLI strives to build a society where culture and arts are of value. Therefore, this program is a step towards creating a flourishing society far from violence through book reading and thinking. A society where children and adolescents learn humane and moral values through education.
This post is also available in: Persian