Since summer 2016, the officials of the Future for Afghanistan Children Organization expressed their interest in implementing Read with Me in Mazar-e-Sharif. Afterward, the Institute for Research on the History of Children’s Literature decided to help them in holding reading aloud sessions along with supporting them with basic literacy training by donating quality books to children of Mazar-e-Sharif and training the teachers.
In Afghanistan, school closure is during the winter and the school year starts with Nowrouz and Solar New Year in March.
Therefore, in consultation with the staff and volunteers of the Future for Afghanistan Children Organization it was decided to implement Read with Me program in Mazar-e-Sharif in two phases:
First phase: November 2016- March 2017
Second phase: From March 2017
In the first phase, reading aloud sessions and basic literacy improvement through literature was conducted for a number of children covered by the Future for Afghanistan Children Organization in Mazar-e-Sharif region at the place of their office.
After implementation of the first phase and negotiations between Mrs. Karimi’s, director of the Future for Afghanistan Children Organization, and principals of few schools, now Read with Me has managed to cover students in grades one, two and three in 5 schools in Mazar-e-Sharif. There are 8 teachers in each school and in total 45 teachers and principals are participating in this phase, who are supposed to run reading aloud sessions and related activities for around 1000 students.
In this regard, On Friday, April 7, 2017 the Future for Afghanistan Children Organization hosted teachers and principals of these 5 schools and Mrs. Khavari and Karimi, two of trained experts of the organization, who were earlier trained in workshops in Tehran, held a training seminar to introduce Read with Me and its procedures.
The topics covered in this seminar, were children’s rights, children’s literature, gaming, books and handbooks presentation, reading aloud a number of books, mask making and role-playing and introduction to basic literacy creative education packages: Learning Sounds, Learning Alphabet, Learning Math and Learning Persian (Nokhodi).
Also, the participants in the basic literacy section were introduced to each package and related story-telling and activities.
Finally, explanations on how to write and send reports and observation notebooks and accurate photography in order to document the program were offered.
It’s planned that the school principals submit their monthly reports directly to the projects responsible and the institute’s office in Iran and experts monitor the process of the program implementation by visiting schools.
In the first phase of this project, from the budget of Fund for Education & Empowerment of Working Children (affiliated with the Institute for Research on the History of Children’s Literature), more than 500 quality books chosen by Read with Me program, 50 basic literacy creative education through literature packages and 80 handbooks for teachers and educators, as well as activities related to the books and manuals were sent to Mazar-e-Sharif.
Wit the implementation of the second phase, one or two copies of each book is kept in the office of the Future for Afghanistan Children Organization and the rest is distributed among school principals.
According to the need of the region, Read with Me officials and the Future for Afghanistan Children Organization hope that through reading and literature, not only enhance basic literacy in these children, but introduce them to life skills and values and help them to overcome difficulties in life and build a society free of violence. Read with Me welcomes help and support of children’s organizations.