Lorestan is a province home to nomadic groups. They migrate southwards in cold seasons and live in the mountains during spring and summer. In autumn and winter, some of their children study in an elementary school in Godargeh village. They return to their nomadic lifestyle before summer. Teenagers work alongside their parents. They are deprived of education since the village has no high school.
Read with Me among Nomadic Children
Nomadic children of Lorestan have had Read with Me book backpacks for the last three years. This way, they have kept their contact with reading and learning. These backpacks have been given to a number of teenagers. These young responsible librarians lend books to other children so that they can read before it gets dark.
Mahereh is a Read with Me trained teacher in Godargeh Elementary School. She has been part of the Read with Me family for 5 years. Every year, during the migration season, she travels to the mountains to hear from the nomadic children, observe their progress and encourage them to read more. This September, she packed her bags as usual.
The first stop was the “Sarcheh” area. As in any nomadic area, there are tents, and people, young and old work round and about. After having breakfast, children either take the flocks to graze or help in baking bread, making butter and other household chores.
Amirmohammad, the young librarian, starts lending books to children after they’re done with work. In this area, the tents are relatively close. So, Amirmohammad goes from tent to tent and takes books to children. He loves his job and children enjoy the books he brings them.
The second stop was “Kani Koukha”. In this area, most children lived close by. But their librarian lived farther away, so he couldn’t lend books as easily. During her visit, Mahereh, their teacher, decided to assign another young librarian to the task. She picked Shahnaz, who lives in a tent near everybody else and has good relations with other children.
Godargah village was the third stop. The residents of this village are not nomadic. There is a Read with Me book display installed in one the shops. Mobina, an 11-year-old shopkeeper and elementary school student is the librarian of this little book display. Most children have read most books and have demanded new ones.
Mahereh’s visit to these areas, shed more light upon the situation of these children, their enthusiasm and demands. After years of experience, the Read with Me team has found out the effective role of books in the lives of children with minimal access to education and cultural resources.