GhassemAbad, an arid village in Kerman Province, has been struggling with drought and economic issues for years. With an agriculture-based economy, this village consists of houses in between fields and palm trees.

Before Mehr-e-Taha Charity established a lovely school with up-to-dated equipment in 2016, this village lacked proper education and leisure amenities. In 2018, the Institute for Research on the History of Children’s Literature and Mehr-e-Taha Charity came together to implement the Read with Me program in the school library. By creating a child-centered space with accessible quality books, the Read with Me program hoped for children’s growing enthusiasm for learning. Noushin Razavi, with her belief in the importance of reading quality books during childhood, financially supported this library in the memory of her son “Sepehr”.

After the school librarian participated in Read with Me workshops held by the Institute for Research on the History of Children’s Literature, Read with Me experts designed the library space and prepared the books and the necessary equipment which in April 2019, led to the establishment of Sepehr Child-centered Library.

Equipping this library took place with the cooperation of locals. Students would sometimes peek inside, ask questions and skim through the books. In the meantime, the Read with Me team took this opportunity to explain methods of librarianship to the school librarian. A number of mothers had also come to visit the library with their children, which were quite welcome by the team and were advised to use the library alongside their children.

 

Knowing the needs of children in the nearby villages in terms of reading quality books, the school librarian held Reading Aloud sessions for Kahur Beyg village’s children as well. Ever since its equipment, the library now contains several copies of each book. Therefore, it’s been made possible for the librarian, as encouraged as she is, to travel to nearby villages with her Read with Me Book Backpack, hold Reading Aloud sessions and even lend books to children in this area.

Ever since the beginning of the program, this librarian has sought suitable places for holding Reading Aloud sessions, spoke to the local grandmothers and grandfathers and invited them to the library to tell stories and sing folkloric songs in order to save the literary heritage of the region. She has also held sessions in school classes to introduce their newly established library and its activities to the students and sign them up for the library’s different events.

Sepehr Child-centered Library is now a rich environment for GhassemAbad children to spend their time in. Children who have the right to read quality books…

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