The launch of Let's Read program. a reading of a children's short story in Western Armenian

On March 26, Keer&Co café hosted the Let’s Read 2022 Reading Promotion Program of the ARI Literature Foundation.

The first book selected for the reading was a short story for children by Isabel Mineos Martins entitled “Until My Hair Grew Longer Again”, translated into Western Armenian. The book is from the Zardis children’s translation series by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

Little Vera goes to the hairdresser with her grandmother every week and one day, misunderstanding the grandmother’s request, the hairdresser cuts her hair very short. Vera is sad, but continues to spend time there during the summertime. In the meantime, while her hair are growing long again, she hears interesting stories from different people; meets and befriends a boy of her age. 

Just like all children’s stories and fairy tales, this one also carries serious and important messages, which we discussed with about 25 children present at the event.

The selection of a book in Western Armenian was conditioned by the idea of breaking the stereotype, which states that “Western Armenian is hardly perceived by the Eastern Armenians”. Our target is the children, because they are more open to new experiences and are not misguided by the stereotypes.

The announcement about the event has been distributed and a request for participation the reading program was received from a group of students from the Mkhitar Sebastatsi Educational Complex, who came to the event with their teacher of Western Armenian. Also, the program welcomed the students from the Avetisyan School and other guests who was not familiar with the program.

The opening remarks were delivered by Arevik Ashkharoyan, the Director of ARI Literature Foundation. She presented the overall project, told about the goals and importance of the programme and shared the success stories. The book was read by Ani Toranean, who, from time to time, was interrupting the reading process and explaining to the children the meaning of the words and expressions in Western Armenian, which, at the first sight, seemed to be unknown to them. But soon children were starting to guess the meaning of the words and notice the differences with Eastern Armenian. Apart from language peculiarities, we talked about all the protagonists of the story, discussed their characters. We also talked about the importance of illustrations which help us see what is written between the lines.

Other books from Zardis series will also be included in the reading  promotion program of 2022.

Keep up with our newsfeed to learn more about upcoming readings.