Experts and volunteers of “Read with Me”, the reading promotion project in Iran which is also concerned about the children in times of crisis, hurried over to Kermanshah province with book bags at very early days after the earthquake in order to bring comfort and consultation to alleviate the pain and relieve the terror that had befallen the children in this region.
Establishing a library for children in a 36 square-meter emergency shelter at Sarpol-e Zahab is one of the steps taken by “Read with Me” project to aid children after the earthquake in corporation with Supportive Education Center of MahmoudAbad from Shahr-e-Ray, and supports from benefactors, IRHCLI Publishing House, ITP co., Houpa Books and Dibayeh Cultural Group who provided the books.
A Place to Assuage the Pain of Children Traumatized by Earthquake in Kermanshah
“Read with Me” experts have tried to create a welcoming and cheerful atmosphere by establishing a child-centered library inside, with encouraging and joyful paintings on its outside walls; a library amidst the vast heap of tents in which disaster stricken families live; with a warm and hospitable environment that draws children in from early morning till really late into the night to read books, perform plays, talk to each other and the teachers; A library that can ease their anxious and turbulent minds where they may borrow a book to read in their tents at night in order to create a place of peace and tranquility.
“Read with Me” is a project designed by the Institute for Research on the History of Children’s Literature, which has proliferated in several underserved provinces of Iran such as South Khorasan, Sistan and Baluchestan, Kerman and many other areas alike. This project employing the motto “All children have the right to read quality books”, moves forward toward its goals in such areas, which is to reach out and provide quality books to children and young adults who routinely have no access to such books, by the financial supports of private companies and non-governmental organizations. “Read with Me” is also quick to respond in dire and urgent situations like natural disasters, to help children in need of reading therapy with books.
After the 7.3 magnitude earthquake of 12 November 2017 in Kermanshah province, experts and volunteers of “Read with Me”, were present in the region since Saturday, 18 November to help the children in need of reading therapy and to carry out the “Read with Me” program. In this respect, hundreds of quality books were shipped to this province. Some were given to Read with Me Library in Sarpol-e Zahab and others were put in special bags which have been delivered to native volunteers who would read aloud them to children in surrounding villages. Furthermore, several groups of trainers from the “Read with Me” program have travelled to this province in order to instruct the native volunteers for reading aloud, book-related activities and organizing a library. “Read with Me” will continue its work and support in this region by providing more books, continuous and purposeful instructions and supervision of the activities in the coming weeks and months.