PH International

It’s a WONDER-ful Life

Country: Armenia
Category: Educational Development Programs


In 2014-2015, building on success of previous social inclusion initiatives, the U.S. Embassy, Yerevan partnered with PH International to bring the “Wonder-ful Life” project to Armenia. “Wonder-ful Life “- is a series of activities based around the reading of Wonder, R. J. Palacio’s prize winning novel about a young boy with a severe facial disfigurement and the challenges he faces when he enters public middle school.

PH International worked jointly with the Ministry of Education of Armenia and the National Institute of Education to train 30 teachers from around the country who then facilitated group readings and discussions of the book with their students during the Social Inclusion Month in February, 2015. In addition, copies of the novel were distributed to libraries, schools, and NGOs in Armenia.

Armenian students were encouraged to create post cards featuring the Wonder bookcover on one side. The best designs were then printed on real cards and students sent them to the U.S. Ambassador, the Minister of Education, and the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs with a brief idea about how they could make their community more inclusive. 

Success Stories

Wonder | 1 May 2016

The “It’s a WONDER-Ful Life” Program has left its unique fingerprint on the lives of the participant teachers, students and their parents. It has changed their perceptions of human ability and disability. “Wonder,” American writer R. J. Pallacio bestselling novel is about a young boy with severe facial disfigurements. The program was built around this and has generated strong interest not only among those teachers and students that were selected to be enrolled in the program but also among the general population of the target schools. Many students and parents borrowed the book from the participant students or waited for the program to finish to be able to get the book from the schools’ library to read. The participant students were so strongly impacted by the lessons of the program that many of them wrote songs, poems and letters to Auggie Pullman, the hero of the novel, to celebrate his successful struggle against discrimination and highlight the importance of social inclusion.
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