Within the framework of the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition program, Mercy Corps in partnership with the Agency for Preschool Education under the Ministry of Preschool and School Education of the Republic of Uzbekistan organized the set-up of reading corners in 58 state preschools in Surkhandarya region and the Republic of Karakalpakstan. The McGovern-Dole program, funded by the United States Department of Agriculture, donated 5,760 childrens’ books in Uzbek, Russian, Karakalpak, and English languages. These preschools also received accompanying furnishings, including two bookshelves, carpets, and cushions. These reading corners are a key resource for preschools teachers, and provide a variety of age-appropriate reading materials for both classroom use and recess activities.
To celebrate these reading corners, preschools in partnership with Mercy Corps, the Regional Department of Preschool and School Education in Surkhandarya and the Ministry of Preschool and School Education of Karakalpakstan hosted opening ceremonies throughout the month of April at preschools in Jakurgan district in Surkhandarya region and Khojeli, Nukus, and Takhiatash districts in the Republic of Karakalpakstan. In line with the Government of Uzbekistan naming 2023 as the Year of Human Care and Quality Education, the McGovern-Dole program celebrates a culture of reading and love of books.
“We used to have just a small reading corner for children and parents. Mercy Corps organized a new reading corner with an abundance of new and diverse literature. This is exciting not only for the children, but also their parents, the preschool staff and myself. We currently spend time together with children in this reading corner. I’ll read them a book of their choice and we’ll talk about the story together with them. I’m really excited about this new reading corner, because through these books, our children will discover their future and the world.”- Mohira Kenjebaeva, teacher from preschool No. 8 in Takhiatash district, Republic of Karakalpakstan.
Mercy Corps in partnership with the Agency for Preschool Education plans to continue work with teachers and administrators at preschools through a mentorship program to increase the potential of teachers to conduct activities and events to promote reading practices with and for children. Later this year, Mercy Corps plans to set up reading corners in an additional 100 preschools in Surkhandarya region and the Republic of Karakalpakstan.
USDA partners with Mercy Corps to implement the McGovern-Dole International Food For Education and Child Nutrition Program in Uzbekistan through September 2024. Working with the Government of Uzbekistan, this program will reach over 90,000 preschoolers in the Karakalpakstan Republic and Surkhandarya region. For more information: https://mercycorps.uz/