News & Events

September 2013

Second Children’s Songbook “Awsaana See Saana” Distributed in Schools of Afghanistan

These days the children in Afghanistan have something to sing about. 

The second edition of the Afghan children’s songbook, Awasana See Saana (One Tale, Thirty Tales) along with a Teacher’s Guide, is finally completed and is being distributed to schools and orphanages across Afghanistan.

This edition has 16 more traditional children’s songs in various ethnic languages of Afghanistan including Pashto, Dari, Uzbeki and Hazaragi.  About 5,000 copies of the songbook and 2,500 copies of the Teacher’s Guide will be distributed and once funding is secured, more will be printed.  The songbook includes a CD and audio cassette tape, as well as a small notebook and 2 pencils.  The Teacher’s Guide includes 5-6 lesson ideas for each song, providing teachers with ways to use these delightful songs to strengthen reading and writing skills. 

A big thank you goes to Noorjahan Akbar for her musical direction and song compilation, Jamshid Sepand and Hasib Sepand for music arrangement, and the U.S. State Department and Ministry of Education plus other funders for their support and contributions.

The response from the Afghan community for this educational resource has been overwhelmingly positive.  Families love this book. Children come home singing the song and pass them on to their brothers, sisters and other members of the family.  Teachers are discovering new ways to engage the children in learning.  Rather than using routine techniques, they use the songs to interest children in learning to read and write.  The result is that children are more involved, more responsive and consequently more enthusiastic about school.

To date, 35,000 copies of the first songbook, Qu Qu Qu Barg-e-Chinaar and 5,000 copies of the second songbook, Awasana See Saana are currently distributed, as well as 2,500 copies of Teacher’s Guides for each book.   

The Afghan Songbook and Literacy project was founded and is directed by Louise Pascale, a former Peace Corps volunteer.  This project could not happen without many dedicated Afghans.  Musician and composer Vaheed Kaacemy was instrumental in arranging, recording and compiling the songs for the first songbook.  TriVision, a media and design firm located in Washington, DC and in Kabul have, from day one, provided creative expertise and enormous support in the areas of the books’ design, illustration and publication.    

To donate, arrange a school program in the U.S. or obtain more information about the Afghan Children’s Songbook Project, please contact Louise Pascale at info@afghansongbook.org  OR go to www.afghansongbook.org

May 2011

Teacher´s Guide

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The Songbook Project continues to grow and expand and reach more and more children and teachers. The latest development of the Songbook Project is the creation of a Teacher’s Guide. The Guide is designed to assist Afghan teachers in using the songs to teach basic reading and writing. Each songs has 6-8 creative ideas for teachers to use with their students.

In addition, all songbook packages that are distributed after May, 2011 will include the songbook, CD, cassette tape and a soft-cover notebook and two pencils. This will allow the children to improve their basic literacy skills while also enjoying singing their favorite childhood songs.

October 2010

The Afghan Children's Songbook Project and Director, Louise Pascale honored for the songbook project and its social and educative impact of the lives of Afghan children.

Louise Pascale, Founder and Director of the Afghan Children's Songbook Project was honored in her home town, Whittier, California in October, 2010 for the work she has done with the Songbook Project. The City of Whittier commended her humanitarian effort and she was inducted into the Whittier High School Hall of Fame.

The Afghan Children's Songbook Project was selected to be part of the International Council for Caring Communities, and the United Nations,sponsored compendium project entitled: Music As a National Resource: Solutions for Social and Economic Issues. The Songbook Project was honored for its "value, ingenuity and significance."

June 2010

National Geographic exhibit goes to Ottawa and London in 2010

The National Geographic exhibit, Hidden Treasure from the National Museum, Kabul will be at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York until Sept. 20th. The exhibit then will move to Ottawa, London and Germany. Contact NGA for more specific exhibition dates.

October 2009

Director of the Songbook Project, Louise Pascale returns to Afghanistan after 40 years

Louise left Afghanistan in January, 1969 after spending 2 and a half years there with the Peace Corps. On a sabbatical from Lesley University, Louise will return to Afghanistan in October, 2009, after 40 years. During her six week stay, she plans to visit some of the schools where the songbooks have been distributed and to meet with teachers and administrators about how the songbooks can be the most useful, assess where there is most need for more songbooks, and see whether a second songbook might be needed at some point in the future.

Blog: Louise's Trip to Afghanistan '09

June 2009

Songbooks delivered to The Ayenda Learning Center, Bamiyan

The newly built Ayenda Learning Center opened in the spring, 2008. The Afghan Children’s Songbook was delivered to all 400 children attending the school in June 2009. The school is still short of books and other supplies and the songbook has been important both as a cultural resource and as a reading text.

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