In support of Armenia’s efforts to move toward a fully inclusive education system, and as part of the U.S. Embassy’s program to bring select American literature to Armenian audiences, the Armenian version of New York Times bestselling novel “Out of My Mind” by Sharon Draper was launched today at AGBU. With Ms. Draper leading a discussion of her writing process, her motivations in creating the story of Melody (a brilliant eleven-year-old girl with a severe disability that makes communication very difficult) and her experience as an educator herself, audience members also had the opportunity to ask their own questions and share their experiences with the author.
“A story like this reveals the heart of those students, like Melody, who are being welcomed in classrooms all around Armenia,” said U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Rafik Mansour at the launch. The book’s message of compassion and appreciation for the unique talents of all members of society resonated deeply with those who have already read the book. Copies will be available for the general public at the U.S. Embassy and at its American Corners in Yerevan, Charentsavan, Kapan, Gyumri and Vanadzor, along with select university libraries. Copies will also be distributed to NGOs working on social inclusion projects, educators attending the workshops, and more.
Author Sharon Draper will also be meeting with faculty and students at various Armenian educational institutions to share her experiences and learn more about Armenian educational approaches to social inclusion. She will lead a creative writing workshop for young writers, and hold discussions with teachers.
Sharon M. Draper is a professional educator and English teacher, as well as an accomplished writer. She has been honored as the National Teacher of the Year, is a five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Literary Awards, and is a New York Times bestselling author.
The Armenian version of “Out of My Mind” was translated by Professor Armenuhi Avagyan, PhD, and published by Asoghik Publishing House in Yerevan.