Large-sized picture books have enriched children's emotions – Fukushima
|Ever since the large-sized picture books arrived, it has become a valued time for the staff members to read books aloud to the children. The 'picture book room' in Fukushima supported by AAR Japan.|
"Nazuna Home", a day care center operated by the social welfare corporation Iwaki Gospel Association, has been entrusted by Fukushima Prefecture to accommodate the increased number of children with disabilities that have come to live in Iwaki-city following the Great East Japan Earthquake. 18 children have registered so far, and the center also supports their parents who are suffering from the anxiety of childcare and living in an unfamiliar place. AAR Japan helped to create a "Picture Book Room" for this facility last April.
Many of the books in the new Picture Book Room are large-sized picture books. For children with developmental disabilities, larger sized books are easier to understand and, as a result, children who previously didn't like reading have come to show interest in these picture books that are several times the size of their own books at home. The children have been actively involved in reading books and expanding their imagination and creating new stories. The staff members are also pleased, saying that "the children are becoming more and more sensitive to the world around them."
A place where children can feel at ease - Miyagi
|Library Takechan-chi (lit. "Take's home") is an important place where children and residents in the community can feel at home.|
Therefore, last August, AAR Japan was happy to add a library to the facility and contribute 139 books to get it started. It is now an essential place for the children to stay. Speaking about the impact that the library has had on the students, Takechan-chi representative Yukio TAKANO said, "Now that the children have a place where they can read books freely, their emotions seem to be more balanced". The institution is also open to the residents of the community to help enhance their understanding of children with disabilities and is a place where they can get to know each other.
A space to learn about disabilities and to relax among new friends - Iwate
|Mr. Nobuyoshi Mitsui (left), the director of Runbinii Art Museum, and visitors who enjoy picture books, and Akiko KATO (right), Manager of the AAR Japan Tohoku Office.|
Based on such experiences, the Runbinii Art Museum asked AAR Japan to assist in creating a place where people could cultivate a deeper understanding of others who have mental disabilities so that they are accepted and cared for in times of disaster and stress. AAR Japan joined the Runbinii Art Museum in this initiative and donated 339 books to the new library section, including books on people with disabilities and picture books by Kenji MIYAZAWA, a novelist from the local area, which are gratefully enjoyed by the visitors. In addition, the museum has organized some events where visitors can interact with the artists of the exhibited artwork.
The art director of the museum, Mr. Takashi Itagaki, who has been trying to create a space where visitors of the museum and people with disabilities can interact with each other naturally, said that "through the library section, we are now able to provide a joyful place for people with disabilities and for people with children."
AAR Japan is proud to remain committed to support the establishment of libraries and to provide books to institutions that care for people with disabilities in disaster affected areas.
* This activity was conducted with your generous donations as well as support from the Qatar Friend Fund, a charity fund from Qatar with the aim of supporting the reconstruction of the disaster areas of the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Sendai Office Yuko OGASAWARA [Reporter]
English editing by Mr Peter BUNGATE
The article on this page has been translated and edited by volunteers as part of the AAR Volunteer Programme. Their generous contributions allow us to spread our activities and ideas globally, through an ever-growing selection of our reports from the field.