Reaching out to children in crisis is one of the fundamental goals of the “Read with Me” program, which is why Read with Me experts feel responsible to be around these children and lessen their pains. Therefore, on 22 April 2019, after the series of destructive floods all over Iran, Read with Me experts traveled to the flooded Poldokhtar, Lorestan, and started a Bibliotherapy process through Reading Aloud quality books and book-related activities for the children in this area, hoping to help children cope better with the emotional pressures of this crisis.
In addition to reading books to children, performing plays and having conversations with them in one of the kindergartens and a number of camps in Poldokhtar and nearby villages, Read with Me experts worked with teachers and mothers to teach them basic reading techniques. They also provided the residents with Book Backpacks so that Reading Aloud to children continues on by the residents in this region.
The Read with Me program has been evaluating the conditions and scheduling travels to other flooded areas in Lorestan, Golestan and Khouzestan Provinces. Assessing damage to the Read with Me libraries in Kouhdasht, KhorramAbad and Sepiddasht is another task Read with Me has to take. Read with Me hopes to use its 2-year long experience among children shaken by the Kermanshah earthquakes to implement the program in the flooded regions by sending out more books, presenting a more goal-oriented education for the residents and supervising the program closely.
Reading has been proven to have healing effects on children under emotional pressures created by disastrous events such as floods and earthquakes. Child development experts have encouraged Bibliotherapy for hospitalized children, children who have lost friends or parents and children of war or natural disasters. Literature can help children understand their emotions, empathize with the characters who are going through the same problems and gain a new perspective on how to deal with people with the same troubles.
In Group Bibliotherapy, children and young adults read stories aloud, or are read aloud to. The conversations that take place during this Reading Aloud session and the related activities such as performing plays, make them realize they are not alone and can share their troubles with others.