Teacher holds reading workshops for village kids to ease ‘pandemic loneliness’

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teacher in the eastern province of Muş is touring several nearby villages to hold reading workshops for children to ease their loneliness while they learn remotely and have been far from their schools due to the pandemic.

Tuğba Harmankaya’s last stop was the village of Tepe in the district of Varto where she bestowed Turkish flags to the children before the event.

“Amid the outbreak, children missed us, we, the teachers, missed them, too. Then I decided to carry out this project. I conduct activities to improve their self-confidence,” said Harmankaya, a teacher of 12 years who has undergone special training on children’s literature.

“I don’t want the kids to feel isolated due to the pandemic,” she added, noting that she was organizing these reading activities with the help of local teachers.

One is Hazal Ateş Özden from Tepe’s only primary school. Özden praised Harmankaya for her efforts, saying, “Thanks to her, the kids have been able to socialize and are very happy. Conditions in the village are tough, but she gives hope to us when we are miserable.”

Her efforts have also been appreciated by Education Minister Ziya Selçuk.

Selçuk tweeted a photo from one of the workshops, captioning it, “We are glad to have you.”

In an interview with state-run Anadolu Agency, Harmankaya also said she wanted the children to see planes, as they had never seen any.

“I was talking about the planes to village kids. They said they had never seen one. Then I told them about the Solo Türk. They wished Solo Türk would fly over Muş,” she said, referring to the solo aerobatics display team of the Turkish Air Force flying F-16 fighter jets. Its first public display was held on April 15, 2011.

Hurriyet Daily News

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