The nominees for Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) 2021 have been announced. This year’s ALMA list consists of 263 authors, illustrators and organizations from 69 countries and 5 continents. Read with Me is one of them.

Read with Me is one of the most active reading promotion programs in Iran and around the world. With a systemic outlook, it has been able to extend the frontiers of reading promotion for children. Read with Me was introduced to the ALMA list by two international organizations: Swiss Section of IBBY and the Flemish Branch of IBBY-Belgium.

2021 is the 5th consecutive year that Read with Me is being nominated by international organizations. Until now, Read with Me has been able to win the 2016 IBBY-Asahi award. Also, in 2020, Marit Törnqvist won the IRead award for her creative collaboration in Read with Me projects.

What is special about the Read with Me program?

Every day, Read with Me improves its activities in quality and quantity. It is designed based on reading promotion experiences in Iran since the 1930s as well as contemporary reading promotion experiences around the world.  Because of its success, it has gained the trust of its supporters who have played a central role in its implementation.

Read with Me focuses on promoting children’s literature on the one hand, and on the other, it aims at basic literacy and emergent literacy, since literacy problems have been a blocking factor for promoting children’s literature effectively in Iran. In this program, basic literacy and emergent literacy are taught to children in deprived areas through children’s literature. It has seen great results especially with bilingual children who generally have more trouble reading Persian texts.

Read with Me has had positive influence on other reading promotion programs in Iran, directly and indirectly. It is evident that a lot of people who follow this program have changed their sporadic contributions from building abandoned libraries and distributing books to performing meaningful read-aloud sessions for children in deprived areas. This is what has made Read with Me an internationally acclaimed program and has led to its consecutive nominations for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA).