The National literacy forum reacts to growing differences between the students
Until recently, there has not been a national strategic plan to promote reading for pleasure in Finland. As a reaction to the growing differences between the students, the government took a step in 2017 to establish a national forum to tackle the issue and provide suggestions for the decision-makers and other actors.
The National Literacy Forum has been seeking solutions to developing young people’s literacy competence and interest in reading. The Forum’s members include a great number of reading and literacy experts: researchers, authors, civil servants, teachers, civil society leaders, cultural agents, publishers, library professionals, etc.
The Forum organizes a campaign to promote reading motivation at schools, by using all the best practices shared in the Forum (such as author visits and celebrities). Schools are the channel to reach out to as many children as possible through regular morning assemblies and read-aloud sessions.
However, the main outcomes of the Forum are expected to be political guidelines rather than tangible actions. The guidelines comprise of proposals for correcting aversive developments in the development of the interest in reading and literacy and for ensuring that all children and young people have a sufficient literacy for continuous learning and active life.
Work aiming to promote literacy and interest in reading and to create opportunities for reading is being carried out on wide-ranging basis, across administrative and sectoral boundaries. The starting point for developing literacy and enthusiasm for reading is to capture the interest of children and young people. To awaken this interest, cooperation is needed between all those who work with children and young people in their daily lives.