Reading makes your world bigger…

On April 29, 2019, a “reading together” event was held with the companions of child patients at

Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine Children’s Hospital.

The event, which was carried out within the framework of Projects of Medical Science and Social

Responsibility at the University, was attended by patient relatives, child development specialists who

were on duty on the floor, nurses, and freshman medical faculty students who were a part of the

social responsibility project group.

After the information regarding how reading positively affects life and the communication with

children was given, the event proceeded with exercises. Based on reference books, studies and

exercises on how to read a book together, the interaction between the child and the adult,

comprehending what one reads and associating it with everyday life were made.

Following the event, attendees expressed that they have forgotten that they are in a hospital, and

that the study has been a very helpful one which stimulated their wish to read.

On April 19, 2019, as a part of the International Children’s Books Festival, the chair of Okuma Kültürü

Derneği Dr. Nur Otaran and two volunteers of the same organisation, Başkent University lecturers

Hicran Çetin Gündüz and Melike Yumuş shared information and acted as facilitators at the workshop

held in Cappadocia University.

The strategies of audible reading and reading together were reviewed with the attendees. Exercises

were made via reference children’s books. Topics such as how to discuss books, how to interact with

the child, kinds of questions to be asked and kinds of answers to be given to the questions asked by

the child were discussed using examples.

Following the workshop, attendees expressed in written and oral evaluations that they have learned

many new exercises about the preparations to be done before starting to read and the activities

after reading, that they have gained perspective, and that reading together has helped them realize

and share new emotions.

(*) “Reading makes your world bigger…”

Our festival was home to Reading Together Workshop, held by the participation of Nur Otaran, Dr.

Hicran Çetin and Melike Yumuş from Okuma Kültürü Derneği. Okuma Kültürü Derneği, which started

off with the slogan “reading makes your world bigger,” answered questions on why and how to read,

and contributed to the festival with the workshop.

“Reading Together” Basic Training Programme was developed for children in the age group of 3-5 to

read with their teachers and relatives. Programme’s first training and exercises were implemented at

Başkent University Ayşeabla Private Schools in the school year 2018-2019.

“Reading Together” is a way of interaction which begins with the birth of a child and which can be

sustained during adulthood. It improves communication between adults and children and enables it

to last for life. The goal is enabling the child to develop a pattern of reading with joy, to embrace it,

and to make it a part of his/her everyday life. Within the process of reading together, various

strategies such as understanding the text, being able to interpret the text, comprehending different

perspectives, empathizing with different characters, criticizing, and associating with one’s own life

can be used.

The trainings took place in three stages.

With the cooperation of Başkent University Faculty of Education and Okuma Kültürü Derneği, three

training programmes were implemented. Need recognition and assessment studies were made with

the attendees before and after the trainings.

Initially, preschool teachers were given trainings. Teachers made reading exercises with their

students. Feedbacks were given regarding the exercises which were supervised by the study group.

In the second stage, teachers were given “trainer training.” The goal of this training was enabling

teachers to give support to the parents and relatives about “reading together.”

In the last stage, parents were given a training about gaining “reading together” skills.

Teachers expressed that with the help of this programme, their knowledge and skills about “reading

together” were improved, that the students’ wish to read increased, and that the process of reading

grew rich. School principal Melda Evren expressed her happiness regarding the success of the long-

running cooperation with Okuma Kültürü Derneği and the lecturers of Başkent University, and the

increased support they gave to parents about reading.

The Children’s Library Guide Workshop which was organized by Okuma Kültürü Derneği in its first

year was held on December 21, 2018 at German Cultural Centre, Ankara.

The draft of the guide, which would lead the way for persons who will establish a new children’s

library and for persons who work in children’s libraries, included the laws and regulations, the

structure, the personnel, the collection, the budget, standards, ethical principles, services, and

operations of the children’s libraries.

The workshop, which commenced with opening speeches, welcomed 51 attendees from related

professions such as librarians, educators, psychologists, child development specialists, engineers,

architects, lawyers, academicians, business managers, and economists who were divided into four

groups according to their areas of expertise.

The Draft of Children’s Library Services Guide, prepared by the members of the organisation and the

volunteers was shared with the attendees before the workshop, and feedbacks were received during

its 12 sessions.

Following the workshop, attendees expressed that the contents of the guide was comprehensive,

and that it will satisfy an important need in the area. The guide will be published as a publication of

Okuma Kültürü Derneği after the development work is completed.