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The National Literacy Forum:
National Literacy Forum encourages children and young people to read and addresses concerns over weakening literacy

Ministry of Education and Culture 14.9.2018 10.56 | Published in English on 14.11.2018 at 16.25
Press release
National Literacy Forum encourages children and young people to read and addresses concerns over weakening literacy

The National Literacy Forum, appointed by the Minister of Education Sanni Grahn-Laasonen, published guidelines for developing children’s and young people’s literacy and enthusiasm for reading on the 14th September. Lukuliike - The Need to Read Movement, launched based on the guidelines, challenges everyone to promote reading and literacy.

The National Literacy Forum, appointed by the Minister of Education Sanni Grahn-Laasonen, published guidelines for developing children’s and young people’s literacy and enthusiasm for reading on the 14th September. Lukuliike - The Need to Read Movement, launched based on the guidelines, challenges everyone to promote reading and literacy.

"Literacy is the foundation of all learning and it plays a crucial role in many positive things in life: wellbeing, empathy skills, trust. Children’s and young people’s reading literacy and interest in reading have declined, and we are concerned about this development. We must ensure, together, that all children and young people attain diverse literacy irrespective of their home background. The guidelines published by the National Literacy Forum today provide a great foundation and starting point for these efforts. We need to launch a national reading movement," says Minister of Education Sanni Grahn-Laasonen.

"Literacy is both a necessity and a source of enjoyment," says author Juha Itkonen, chair of the National Literacy Forum.  

"Studies show that both Finnish young people's literacy and their enthusiasm to read have declined rapidly over a short period of time. Adults read less than before as well, and reading is not considered as important as it used to be. We must take this seriously and invest in long-term measures. If this kind of development continues, it will threaten the wellbeing of both Finland as a nation and Finnish people as individuals. Literacy is an international competitive factor in the same manner as expertise in natural sciences," says Itkonen.

"On the other hand, the ways of reading may and must change in course of time. It does not matter whether people read texts on paper or on their phone screens or whether these texts are novels, articles or blogs. What is essential is that people concentrate on whatever they are reading, understand what they have read and receive pleasure from reading. Young people also wish that reading could be more participatory and collective, and the modern technology provides excellent opportunities for this," Itkonen emphasises.


Guidelines by the National Literacy Forum

The National Literacy Forum has drawn up guidelines for developing children's and young people's multiliteracy. According to the guidelines, reading must be made an integral part of children's and young people's everyday lives, those virtual and physical spaces where they spend their time.

Children and young people are encouraged not only to read but also to produce their own stories and texts and to distribute them. Children’s and young people’s role models are invited to talk about their enthusiasm for reading and what reading means to them. Positive attitude towards reading must be promoted and barriers to reading removed with all possible means.

Parents, guardians, families and other people present in children's and young people's everyday lives are encouraged to support reading.


Need to Read Movement inspires and challenges

Lukuliike - The Need to Read Movement, launched as a result of the work of the National Literacy Forum, will implement the guidelines drawn up by the Forum.

The Need to Read Movement inspires and challenges everyone to launch their own 'movements', campaigns and challenges to promote reading. Everyone can join the movement in their own way. Any person or organisation can set up a challenge or start a campaign of their own and share it in social media by using the hashtag #lukuliike.

The purpose of the TL;DR campaign targeted especially at young people is to draw attention to the new habits and ways of reading brought by digitalisation. The campaign will be carried out in social media, and  its objective is to make young people reflect upon their reading habits during this autumn.  

The Need to Read at School campaign to be carried out by the Finnish Reading Centre will inspire children and young people to spend more time reading books. The campaign aims to make reading part of the everyday lives and school days of children and young people by organising events and providing new experiences at school. The campaign will be carried out in cooperation with schools, libraries, schools of literary arts, and a broad range of other experts in the field. The school campaign will take place during the school year 2018–2019.

Guidelines for developing the literacy of children and young people, pdf

www.lukuliike.fi
#lukuliike

Inquiries:
- Juha Itkonen, author, chair of the National Literacy Forum (requests for interviews should be addressed to Anne Onnela)
- Anne Onnela, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Education and Culture, tel. +358 295 3 30010
- Leena Aaltonen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Education and Culture, tel. +358 295 3 30344
- Minna Harmanen, Counsellor of Education, Finnish National Agency for Education, tel. +358 295 3 31481
- Daniel Sazonov, Special Adviser to Minister of Education, tel.  +358 295 3 30276  
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Minister of Education Sanni Grahn-Laasonen appointed the National Literacy Forum in October 2017. Author Juha Itkonen is the chair of the Forum.
Press release of the Ministry of Education and Culture of 20 October 2017

The Need to Read Movement has been launched by the Finnish Reading Centre, the Finnish Cultural Foundation, the Finnish Library Association, The Federation of Finnish Mother Tongue Teachers in Finland, and the Joy of Learning Multiliteracies project of the University of Helsinki, among others. The literacy-related in-service training programmes funded by the Finnish National Agency for Education, beginning in autumn 2018, will also be incorporated into the Need to Read Movement.
 

Culture Early childhood education and care Education General education Libraries Sanni Grahn-Laasonen