Geographical Location: Allameh Balkhi School, Pishva County, 45 kilometers to the south-east of Tehran, Tehran province

Librarian: Maryam Mozaffari

Start Date: July 2022

Supporter: part of from IBBY-iRead Award 2022 / donated by Zohreh Ghaeini

Shadi Library was established in Allameh Balkhi School. This school is located in Pishva country, 45 kilometers to the south-east of Tehran. This city and its suburbs host many immigrant children. Established in 2001 for immigrant Afghan children, Allameh Balkhi School provides educational services for these children in all grades. Since 2021, after the new wave of immigration of Afghanistani families to Iran started as a result of re-domination of Taliban on Afghanistan, many new immigrant and refugee children have registered in this school; so much so that in the last educational year, most of the students in Allameh Balkhi School have been immigrant and refugee children. More than 150 to 200 students from 5 to 18 years old attend this school every year. Since the educational year of 2021-2022, this school is covered by Read with Me program with the support of a benevolent person.Since the academic year of 1402-1401, this school has been one of the centers supported by the fund of the IBBY-iRead award 2022, donated by Zohreh Ghaeini; As an Outstanding Reading Promoter, She  has donated part of this award to reading and literacy promotion projects in the “Read with me” program, especially promoting reading among Afghan immigrant children in Iran.

It was based on these necessities that after one year of implementing Read with Me program and holding reading-aloud sessions in classes of this school by the motivated and innovative teachers and volunteers, and considering the enthusiasm of children and their participation in reading activities, establishing a child-centered library by the name of Shadi Library in this school was included in the agenda of Read with Me program. supported by Zohreh Ghaeini who donated part of her IBBY-iRead award to establish and support it, this library is supposed to become a center for all the children of this region, so that not only immigrant students of this school but also children from the neighborhood and students of other schools can benefit from the services of this library.

In April 2022, Read with Me experts visited the school and assessed its potentials and then signed a memorandum of understanding with the managers of this educational center and suggested a room in the ground level for establishing the library. Also, suitable and child-centered setting was recommended for a pre-school class that was adjacent to this room.

Finally, in the first days of July 2022, about 1300 volumes of quality books along with handbooks and related activity sheets were sent for this library. From the very first days, children and adolescents have shown great enthusiasm for helping in organizing the books. Shadi Library, one of Read with Me libraries, was officially inaugurated in August 2022. Also, in the first year of joining the program, all teachers and volunteers of this school participated in the “Read aloud, methods and functions”, “Children’s literature and picture books” and “Drama related to reading aloud” workshops.

This post is also available in: Persian