Sevim Ak initiated a commemorative project for Türkan Saylan - the founder of the Association in Support of Contemporary Life (ÇYDD)- following Saylan’s death in 2009. With this project, Ak called for the co-opera- tion of writers, illustrators and publishing houses to honour Saylan’s efforts to enhance the importance of art and literature in elementary schools. The commerative festivals took place in June 2009,(Şişli, İstanbul); in June 2010 (Akçakoca) and in May 2011, (Bakırköy, İstanbul).

1999-2001: Following the Marmara earthquake on August 17th 1999, a psycho-social rehabilitation project carried out by the Tel-Aviv Municipality Psychological Health Center, Marmara University, the Turk- ish Israeli pre-fabricated village and primary school design foundation and Yalova Altınova Primary School used thirteen of Ak’s stories about “fear” to help ease the trauma and grief of young survivors.

Creative Reading Series: With her novel titled There is Someone Up in the Sky (Toroslu Publishing, 2005), Sevim Ak participated in the project initiated by The Association in Support of Contemporary Life (ÇGYD), aiming to encourage children to read more and write their own stories. The project was intended to provide an opportunity for children to perceive and internalize what they read and experience, to pro- mote relations between the stories and their own lives, and to look beyond the limits of a story told in a book and recreate it. Ak volunteered for the activities carried out in several schools. Additionally, she donated her personal proceeds from the sale of her book There is Someone Up in the Sky (between 2005-2010) to The As- sociation in Support of Contemporary Life (ÇGYD). About There is Someone Up in the Sky This is the very first book of The Creative Reading Series prepared by The Association in Support of Contem- porary Life (ÇYDD). The aim of The Creative Writing series is to encourage students to read by highlighting the fact that reading is a creative and vital activity. There is Someone Up in the Sky is illustrated by Behiç Ak and edited by Oya Adalı, Nazan İpşiroğlu, Zehra İpşiroğlu and Şeyda Ozil. The workbook is prepared by Nihal Kuyumcu. The Creative Reading Series is based on the constructivist and student-centered learning approach. Teachers can use these books and workbooks as teaching materials for the compulsory “reading sessions” which are in the scope of the new curriculum prepared by The Ministry of National Education (MEB). , Parents who would like their children to be active readers can also benefit from the use of The Creative Reading Series.

For the Mobile Experiment Project, Sevim Ak traveled to 140 regional boarding institutions and 30 village schools in seven years with a team of 33 volunteers from the Association for the Support of Primary Education (İLKYAR). At the schools she visited, she read her stories to children and worked with them to create new stories and retell old ones. She wanted the children to tell their own life stories in addition to the fairy tales they heard at home in their own language. The results of those creative reading and story writing workshops conducted in Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia were printed in several installments (in the years 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005) by the French magazine “Lignes D’ecritures”.. Printemps- ete 2002 - Impression sur l’Anatolie Est:Les reves portes dans les legendes, les vies Mai-aout 2003-Les enfants du Lac de Van Mai-aout 2004-Portraits d’enfants de l’est de la Mer noire Afterwards, Ak compiled her memories from her travels to the regional boarding schools in a book titled Children of The Sun.

2009-2010: Sevim Ak took part in the I Read, I Play Project with the Turkish Education Volunteers Foundation (TEGV). For this project, Ak participated in “reading sessions” and “book analysis activities” in order to turn reading into a lifelong habit.

2006: Sevim Ak participated in the “reading activities” that are a part of “The Rehabilitation of the Street Children Project”. The project was started with the co-operation of United Nations Development Pro- gramme (UNDP) and GAP. For this project, libraries, computer and theatre workshops were arranged in order to enhance the personal and social development of the street children in Gaziantep, Şanlıurfa and Batman. The “reading activities” were organized with the purpose of drawing considerable interest to the usage of libraries. The writers of Can Publishing House as well as many actors and actresses took active roles in the project. Five public librar- ies were built and approximately 15.000 children’s books were donated to these libraries. In total, the project reached 815 children in Batman, 750 children in Şanlıurfa and 330 children in Gaziantep. 2006-2007: Sevim Ak took an active role in My Library Project carried out with the co-operation of Commu- nity Volunteers Foundation (TOG) and Can Publishing House. The project aimed to renovate and improve the conditions of 10 libraries in different regions of Turkey., In the public libraries of Ankara, Antalya, Aydın, Diyarbakır, Gaziantep, Malatya, Manisa, Sakarya, Samsun and Şanlıurfa, “reading activities” were held with the participation of children’s books writers and actorsandactresses. Sevim Ak participated in the “reading activities” that took place in the public libraries of Antalya, Aydın, Manisa and Sakarya. During these activi- ties, she emphasized the importance of developing enthusiasm for reading.