Book Bag to Every Baby Born Programme Awarded With Rooster Prize
The book gift project is based on research on the importance of early reading for language development and literacy. It is also the first large-scale project in Finland to support reading for all families with children. Some of the materials are available in several languages, including a guide for parents in as many as 19 languages.
“A Book Bag for Every Baby Born has already been distributed to more than 200,000 families with babies. The book gift has proven to increase reading in families, and for many, reading has become a daily habit. We warmly thank the Finnish Reading Association for the recognition and will share it with all Finnish maternity and child care clinics’ nurses. Without them, we would not have been able to inspire Finnish families to read together from the very start of a child’s life,” says Emmi Jäkkö, Director of the Finnish Reading Center.
Reading promotion for families in early childhood education and care has a long-lasting effect, as attitudes towards reading, reading habits and the foundations of literacy are formed already in early childhood. Several studies show that families have different opportunities to support their children’s reading skills. Activities such as A Book Bag to Every Baby Born in Finland promote equal opportunities for children in literacy and provide all families with both information and concrete tools to build their children’s literacy skills. The book gift programme holds importance for society, as it is now also included in the Government Programme of Finland. This ensures that the book bags will continue to be distributed in the coming years.
The 2023 Rooster Prize award was presented to Director Emmi Jäkkö, on 8 September at the Finnish Reading Center in Villa Kivi, Helsinki. The prize has been awarded in recognition of the work done to promote literacy on International Literacy Day on 8 September since 1981. Previous recipients include authors Märta Tikkanen and Kerttu Vuolab, and the Multilingual Library.
The Finnish Reading Association, FinRA, is a 50-year-old organisation that promotes a wide range of language communication skills and learning. Its members include teachers from all levels of education and researchers interested in the subject. Building and maintaining international networks is an essential part of FinRA’s activities. International Literacy Day is recognised by UNESCO.