The winners of the Fourth Jabbar Baghtcheban Award were announced in Autumn 2022. “Jabbar Baghtcheban, Simorgh’s Twin” is an award presented by the Institute for Research on the History of Children’s Literature with the financial and cultural support of Azarestan Business Development Group. It is a biennial award presented to reading promoters in Read with Me program who have had a significant role in the promotion of reading and the improvement of the foundations of basic literacy through literature among children and adolescents. In 2022, five prominent promoters of Read with Me program from different parts of Iran won this award.
Mobina Ramezani – Mahmoud-abad region, Shahr-e Rey, Tehran Province
Fariba Zarei – Rijab, Dalahu County, Kermanshah Province
Khadijeh Shahnavazi – Shir-abad region, in the margin of the city of Zahedan, Sistan and Baluchestan Province
Masoumeh Qardashkhani – Eslam-shahr, Tehran Province
Shohreh Kooshki – Khorram-abad, Lorestan Province
The jury of the Fourth Jabbar Baghtcheban Award have also recognized the efforts of 15 promoters of Read with Me program as well as 8 organizations in which this program is implemented perfectly.
Mobina Ramezani, Shokoufan Association for Educating and Supporting Children, Mahmoud-abad, Shahr-e Rey, Tehran Province
Mobina Ramezani is a young and creative trainer who teaches kindergarten and pre-school children in Shokofan Association from 2016. Her classes in Shokoufan are unique examples of creative teaching methods of basic literacy through literature, thanks to the special and intimate relationship she establishes with children as well as the deep understanding that she shows about Read with Me approaches. Her creativity in presenting educational plans and programs and her various book-related activities reveal that she has a proper knowledge of children’s needs and their interest level. Shokoufan Association attempts to enhance children’s and adolescents’ cultural and educational environment in Mahmoud-abad neighborhood and among the families working in the brick kilns in this region. Mobina Ramezani is one of the trainers who meets children and families in these brick kilns with a backpack of books. She has managed to establish a good relationship and cooperation with other trainers, too. Due to this spirit of teamwork, along with her precision, responsibility, consistency and interest in learning, she has been trusted with the management of the new library of Read with Me in Haji-abad region in the margins of Tehran. Mobina Ramezani also works in the Institute for Research on the History of Children’s Literature in Iranak Childhood Museum.
Fariba Zarei, Read with Me library of Rijab, Dalahu County, Kermanshah Province
Fariba Zarei became acquainted with Read with Me program after the devastating earthquake of Kermanshah in November 2017. Since then, she has become one of the prominent librarians of Read with Me in the earthquake-stricken region of Rijab. Her family and the people of the regions helped her relocate the cabin library of Rijab twice before it was permanently established in a building in the city. Ms. Zarei’s and her family’s steadfastness through all these ups and downs has been one of the most important factors in the continuity of the activities of the library and the expansion of its network. Rijab library is one of the most active Read with Me libraries in Kermanshah province and is supported by Yaran-e Danesh o Mehr Association. The library has many active members. Zarei is a creative librarian, particularly in designing various interesting and goal-oriented book-related activities such as drama, which is one of the reasons that Rijab library is appealing to children. With the help of her colleague, Zarei has managed to turn the library into a cultural center for the children of the region and to pay due attention to different aspects of a library and its multifaceted potentials, from environmental activities such as promoting the significance of waste segregating and recycling, to promoting life values and skills and relationship with families.
Khadijeh Shahnavazi, Shir-abad region, Zahedan, Sistan and Baluchestan Province
Khadijeh Shahnavazi is a trainer who works with Koosha Center in Shir-abad, Zahedan, since its establishment in 2015. She joined Read with Me program in this center from the educational year of 2019/20 when literacy program for education-deprived children was implemented in this center. A competent trainer, she teaches first grade elementary children in two shifts and has a deep understanding of the approaches of creative teaching of basic literacy through literature and the effective methods of their implementation among children. Shahnavazi’s efforts and creativity in using novel tools and techniques in teaching have turned her classes into rich literacy environments. In her classes, children learn literacy with joy and through games. Being a patient and kind teacher, she works step by step with children who have difficulties in learning due to their multiple problems. In addition to teaching her own classes, she helps other teachers in the school, too, giving her experiences in the field of creative teaching of basic literacy to those trainers who join Koosha center recently. And besides teaching in Shir-abad region, she is engaged in promoting reading in villages near Zahedan, too, bringing books for children of these villages and trying to improve their basic literacy skills.
Masoumeh Qardash-khani, Ava Read with Me Library, Eslam-shahr, Tehran Province
Masoumeh Qardash-khani is an elementary school teacher in Eslam-shahr region who joined Read with Me program in “One Promoter, One Bag of Books” campaign in 2018. After a short while, witnessing the effects of quality books on children, she decided to go beyond her classes in promoting reading. Thanks to her efforts and perseverance, and despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Ava Read with Me library was established in Nabovvat Elementary School in 2019 so that all children in the school would have access to quality books. Although in the beginning she could not gather children in the library because of Covid-19 restrictions, she innovated the method of regularly preparing bundles of books for children of different age groups and taking them to families and children while observing health standards. Also, she established a gradual relationship between the library and the members by practicing reading-aloud in their virtual group. Qardash-khani constantly tries to get familiar and cooperate with people like herself who are concerned with the future of children; as a result, she uses every opportunity to promote approaches of Read with Me program among families, friends, colleagues in the Education Office of her city and province, etc. She has also held reading sessions for children and implemented book-related artistic activities wherever possible. She stays constantly in touch with families and tries to make parents accompany their children in reading activities by teaching them simple tips. She has successfully incorporated quality books of children’s literature in her class topics and has turned the dull and soulless textbook materials into attractive contents for children. It is through these attempts that children are encouraged to use the library continually.
Shohreh Kooshki, Read with Me Library of Khorram-abad, Lorestan Province
Shohreh Kooshki is the librarian of Read with Me library in Safdarzadeh Cultural and Educational Institute in a marginal region of Khorram-abad since 2017. Having a deep understanding of the role of a librarian and a promoter, she has turned the library into a center for promoting reading in schools and among families and neighborhood children. Thanks to her support, a group of adolescents have created a local network as library associates for lending books and promoting reading among other children in their school and neighborhood. “One Alley, One Librarian” is one of her innovative plans for the promotion of book reading among neighborhood children. Ms. Kooshki has not limited herself to Khorram-abad library but uses every opportunity to hold reading aloud sessions in schools and other libraries and cultural institutes in the city in order to make more and more children familiar with quality books. Also, by introducing new ways of reading to trainers and teachers and cultural activists of the region, she tries to engage more people in this mission. Her efforts have led to the establishment of two other libraries based on the standards of Read with Me program in remote villages and regions of Lorestan province.
This post is also available in: Persian