By Pfc. Justin Naylor, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public AffairsApril 28, 2009
FORWARD OPERATING BASE WARRIOR, Kirkuk, Iraq- How do you improve a child's chances to be successful in life' Give children access to knowledge. To do that, you give them books-and lots of them-about every kind of subject they might need to know.
This was the idea behind a program between the Iraqi Ministry of Education and U.S. State Department that began delivering 250,000 books to Iraqi schools throughout the Kirkuk province, Iraq, which began April 16.
This program is part of a nation-wide operation aimed at the same goal: bringing books to schools.
Over 900 schools in the Kirkuk province will be receiving books, said Sri Kulkarni, the chief of public diplomacy for Forward Operating Base Warrior's Provincial Reconstruction Team.
The books come from Scholastic books, and the series is called My Arabic Library to help teach children critical reading skills.
The books are designed for children below 6th grade and will cover subjects like math, science, history and reading, said Kulkarni.
"These books are very good for educating the kids," said the Kirkuk Deputy Director General of Education, Fawzia Abdullah Awanis.
"They will provide a great education to the children of these schools," explained Awanis.
According to Awanis, the Government of Iraq is running low on book supplies, so the books will be helpful in supplementing what they have.
As part of the program, schools receiving the books will be required to enroll teachers in a comprehensive course to guide them on how to effectively use the book packages they will receive.
The program contains follow-up instructions and evaluations for those teaching the material, explained Kulkarni.
Additionally, schools will need to establish associations for parents of children attending the schools which would allow them to take part in the educational process, said Kulkarni.
To deliver the books, three Battalions from 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, will help distribute them throughout Kirkuk province throughout the month of April.
"I am very excited about this," said Awanis.