This year, New Year’s holidays passed, with all the good news and the bitter ones. Yet Read with Me teachers, librarians and promoters, carried books around even on their trips. So that every chance they got, they would take children on a different sort of trip. A trip to the realm of stories.

Below, you can read stories of the experiences these promoters had during their New Year’s holidays:

Fariba Dahmardeh – Bonjar – Sistan & Balouchestan 

On 1 April 2019, together with our relatives, we went on a picnic. Children were quite loud. I invited them to come read a book with me. I read “Germs Are Not for Sharing” aloud. The thing that interested me was that their mothers looked even more enthusiastic. They responded to my questions louder than their children did! They were so intrigued by this method of Reading Aloud, that I had to arrange a Reading Aloud workshop to teach them the techniques. I read-aloud “My Grandpa” next. One of the children insisted that the book’s character was an elephant, not a bear. The others tried to convince her otherwise. “If it’s an elephant, where is its tusk and trunk?” they asked until she was convinced.

Shokoufeh Amirian – Sarpol-e-Zahab – Kermanshah

On Nowruz, 21 March 2019, I decided to go to nomad children and read-aloud the book “Uncle Nowruz”. Fatemeh and Sepideh, two girls of 7 and 9 were enthusiastically waiting for me to read aloud. It was such a beautiful moment. Yet, what upset me was the illiteracy of these two sisters. Nevertheless, they showed great interest in the book. After Reading Aloud, we went for a stroll in the nature. On departure, when I gave them candies, they said: “Miss, you brought us candies and cookies, just like Uncle Nowruz! Thank you.”

Ahmad Sarani – Hirmand – Sistan & Balouchestan

During the holidays, because of the ceremonies, visits and travels, I was away from children. I felt as though I had lost something. Today, on 31 March, I finally gathered my own children and children of my relatives around and read-aloud “Rosie’s Walk’ by Pat Hutchins. At first, I introduced the book. Then I asked them questions about the cover. I tried to encourage them to talk about the illustrations. We all enjoyed the book so much and I regained my lost energy. I hope I can read books to children with much more strength and enthusiasm in the year to come.

Nasrin Mirzayi – Kermanshah

I spent the first 5 days of the New Year’s holidays with relatives, out of town. I brought 5 books with me. One for each day. At evenings I would read aloud one of the books and in the following days we would talk about the books over and over. What interested me most was children’s storytelling abilities. They would make up new stories about the characters of the books. The youngest made up the longest stories every night. On the 5th day, she made me promise to read-aloud a new story every day and send them to her as voice messages until the next Nowruz.

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