Happy International Literacy Day!
According to UNESCO, “Since 1967, International Literacy Day (ILD) celebrations have taken place annually around the world to remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights, and to advance towards a more literate and sustainable society. Despite progress, challenges persist with at least 773 million young people and adults lacking basic literacy skills today.”
International Literacy Day (ILD) 2021 will be celebrated under the theme “Literacy for a human-centred recovery: Narrowing the digital divide”.
The literacy taskforce of IPA’s Inclusive Publishing and Literacy Committee (IPLC) has started bringing together a network of literacy organizations operating around the globe. The aim is to create an online database of IPA literacy partners enabling them to present themselves, share their projects and ideas, and facilitate the networking of literacy organizations.
We hope that this network will inspire even more ideas for IPA members, partners, followers, and book lovers to develop different literacy projects both in their own countries and internationally.
Specially for the International Literacy Day we would like to present the first 5 literacy organizations from Norway, Netherlands, Germany, Finland and UK. Below you can find the short descriptions of their top inspirational projects. We truly believe that these projects can give many of our readers the motivation to start changing the literacy landscape in their own countries from today.
Some useful links for upcoming International Literacy Day events:
- UNESCO International Literacy Day Webinar:
- UNESCO International Literacy Prizes:
- World Literacy Foundation 2021 World Literacy Awards Ceremony
- FICCI Literacy Over Years - India’s Growth Story webinar
Association Read, Norway
Established in 1997, Association Read has 40 membership organization from all parts of the Norwegian book industry. Association Read is funded by its members as well as the National Library and the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training. The goal of the organization is to promote reading and create readers among children and youth. Through their work, they annually reach 300 000 children and youth and approximately 10 000 teachers and librarians. Their work is carried out in large parts in schools, however they do work in other arenas as well.
The Avid Reader Award (“Bokslukerprisen”) is a reading incentive award for 5th-7th grade students, focusing on the joy of reading. 127 000 students from all over Norway participate in this award. The first award ceremony was arranged in 2014. The participating classes receive anthologies of Norwegian novels written for the age group 10–12. Students read and vote for the best excerpts. The top five excerpts constitute the nominees for the award. Five jury classes from across the country are assigned to read the nominated excerpts and to select a winner. During the reading period, jury classes are visited by a motivational speaker, who gives the students guidance on how they can become critical readers and how they can justify their opinions. The award ceremony for The Avid Reader Award takes place on World Book Day in April.
Read more: https://bokslukerprisen.no/
CPNB, the Netherlands
With state-of-the-art marketing and communication knowledge, CNPB develop inspiring campaigns that encourage readers to visit bookstore and libraries.
Book Week is one of the oldest (86th edition in 2021) and most well-known campaigns in the Netherlands. The Dutch literary book week is celebrated in almost every bookshop and library. Generations of people are used to visit their local bookstore during this Week and buy a book. With that purchase they get the Book week’s gift book: a novella specially written for the campaign by a well–loved author. When you buy another Dutch book of at least € 15 you get this novella for free, a gift from your local bookshop.
The print run of this gift book is more than 640.000 (2021). Bookshops and publishers have a major sales time, libraries have excellent visiting results, hundreds of authors are meeting readers in bookshops, libraries and literary festivals. The author plays a major role in publicity. Every Book Week has a theme and an author is asked to make an essay about it that is sold by bookstores. And a poet is asked to write a poem about the theme, a new tradition that started in 2019. The essayist is an ambassador of the campaign like the author of the gift book. For more than 20 years the Book Week is sponsored by the Dutch Railways (NS).
Read more: https://www.boekenweek.nl/
Established in 2010, LitCam aims to increase educational equity and promote core social values. They encourage and support children and young people, mainly from socially deprived families. Additionally, LitCam promotes integration for children and young people whose mother tongue is not German.
“Football meets culture” was initiated in 2007. The basic idea was to combine football training with academic tutoring to arise interest in education and culture among young people from educationally deprived backgrounds.
“Football meets Culture” runs for at least one school year. 24 children take part in two groups of 12 participants each. The children have football training twice a week, followed by academic tutoring based on the children's particular needs. The football training is carried out in cooperation with well-known local football clubs. Each month, the students attend a cultural event. Themes vary e.g., from a visit to a museum, to a rap poetry workshop, or a rally-run through a library.
“Football meets Culture” has been established as an integrative educational program in 22 German cities, cooperating with 22 football clubs of the German Football League (Bundesliga). Per year there are more than 700 children participating in this program. The DFL Stiftung supports the program as a nationwide partner since 2012. Furthermore, the project cooperates with local sponsors who share our vision of the importance of "Competence for life". The program has been highly recognized, winning a lot of awards such as the UEFA Foundation for Children Award 2019.
The Finnish Reading Center, Finland
The Finnish Reading Center arranges author visits, produces materials, information, reports and services and expertise for schools, libraries, the general public, media and policy makers. The Finnish Reading Center is also responsible for major national reading campaigns such as Bookstart Finland, Reading movement in schools. It works in close co-operation with schools, libraries, government, private companies and other organizations. It is also an active member of European reading and literacy networks, such as EURead and ELINET.
Book bag to every baby born in 2019-21 - In 2018 Lukukeskus created a concept for a national book bag program. The idea was to provide equal opportunities for early reading for every family in Finland. The Finnish Cultural Foundation also interested in early reading and provided funding for the program. Also Finnish government provided additional funds for the information materials.
In 2019 The Finnish Reading Center published new books for the program, one for the babies and one with bedtime stories. Books were written by the prominent Finnish children’s authors and illustrated by experienced illustrators. Even health care and child development specialists were consulted in order to provide books suitable for target age: babies and toddlers. Also guides and leaflets were produced to give parents the information on the importance of reading to a child.
Finland still ranks number one as the most literate country in the world. Children and adolescents excel in PISA (2018 4th) and PIRLS (2016 5th) but attitudes towards reading are changing: motivation and enthusiasm expressed by children and adolescents is one of the lowest in the world. The Book Bag is available also in four common immigrant languages.
Read more: https://lukukeskus.fi/en/read-aloud/
World Book Day, UK
The mission of the World Book Day is to promote reading for pleasure, offering every child and young person the opportunity to have a book of their own. World Book Day aims to see more children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, with a life-long habit of reading for pleasure and the improved life chances this brings them.
World Book Day was created by UNESCO on 23rd April 1995 as a worldwide celebration of books and reading. It is marked in over 100 countries around the globe. The first World Book Day in the UK and Ireland took place in 1997 to encourage young people to discover the pleasure of reading.
As World Book Day founder, Baroness Gail Rebuck, recalls “We wanted to do something to reposition reading and our message is the same today as it was then – that reading is fun, relevant, accessible, exciting, and has the power to transform lives.”
Next year is the 25th World Book Day, and on 3rd March 2022, children of all ages will come together to share the joy of reading for pleasure.
Spending just 10 minutes a day reading and sharing stories with children can make a crucial difference to their future success and it’s fun for all involved. That’s why World Book Day continues to encourage children and young people to read for pleasure through its work with authors, illustrators, publishers, bookshops and libraries.
Read more: https://www.worldbookday.com/