Geographical Location: Mazar-i-Sharif, Balkh Province, Afghanistan
Age-group: Preschool and Elementary School
Number of Children: 1000
Number of Teachers: 48
Start Date: Autumn 2016
In the academic year 2016/17, the Read with Me started its activities in Afghanistan by the cooperation of Future for Afghanistan Children Organization. This project covers almost 400 children studying in first and second grade in Mazar-i-Sharif and nearby villages.
In September 2016, the Future for Afghanistan Children Organization authorities and a number of tutors from Mazar-i-Sharif traveled to Iran and participated in the Read with Me workshops. The tutors also participated in a one-day meeting in the Institute for Research on the History of Children’s Literature.
In the first round of the project, after sending books funded by a group of benefactors, Reading Aloud sessions were held for children covered by this organization in December 2016.
In the first phase, Reading Aloud sessions were held for children covered by Afghanistan Children’s Foundation in the Mazar-i-Sharif district at the Children’s Fund Office. Since sending the first set of quality books in December 2016, the program began its activities. At this stage, two volunteers read books to children once or twice a week and regularly sent their reports and photos to the “Read with Me” experts in Iran.
The second phase began in April 2017 with the start of the new school year. At this stage, after the talks of the Afghan Children’s’ Foundation with the heads of several schools, the first, second and third grade students of five schools in the Mazar-i-Sharif region were covered by the program. 8 teachers in each school and a total of 45 teachers and prinicipals participated at this stage and held Reading Aloud sessions along with book-related activities for nearly 1,000 students.
In April 2017, a workshop was organized for teachers and principals by members of the Children’s Foundation trained in Iran. The topics discussed at the workshop were:
- Children’s rights, children’s literature, games and a sharing of experiences in a nutshell;
- Introducing books and handbooks;
- Reading Aloud a number of books;
- Learning how to make masks and perform plays;
- Introducing basic literacy packages including Learning Numeracy Skills, Learning Phonological and Phonemic Awareness Skills and Learning Farsi through Literature;
- The Dictionary of Riddles and its related activities
- Instructions on how to write and send reports and observations
Over the course of the program, school principals and experts of the Children’s Foundation sent their reports to the office of the Institute for Research on the History of Children’s Literature and the project supervisor in Iran several times. The “Read with Me” experts have also guided them accordingly.