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Although the literacy rate is increasing in Afghanistan, students’ reading is limited to the textbooks within the school curriculum. . The content of school text books, especially literature and history, is boring and merely scientific. Therefore, there is lack of interest among Afghan students toward reading extracurricular books. But we want Afghan students to read for fun and experience the joy of exploring the unlimited world of literature. Therefore, our project tries to provide the primary needs of a simple mini-library including a bookcase and a number of books for public schools. To create enthusiasm for reading, most of the books will be selected from collections of best sellers, novels, and colorful comic books written in Farsi/Dari or translated to Farsi/Dari. At the reading circles we will also ask students to keep a diary and start writing for themselves. We want them to express their thoughts about what they read in their diary or try to learn from authors’ writing styles and describe their own feeling and thoughts about everybody and everything. To make the project self-sustainable, beside the library, we will donate piggy banks (coin accumulation boxes) so that teachers, students, parents and those who want to help the school library can participate by giving their financial help through these piggy banks and the school buys add a number of books to the library each year. The students will also be encouraged to initiate fund raising programs or call for book collection for their school library.
We operate our activities and projects through Afghan Youth Reading Association (AYRA). The association started its activities from summer 2012 and currently has about 15 members meeting every week to discuss the books they have read with each other. AYRA also encourages students to join and get involved in different activities initiated by the association. Active members of the association will be instructed to join and later lead our reading circle program at the schools in which we build the mini-libraries. The reading circles that we conduct in the schools are the most important strategy to make sure the library project will achieve its objectives.