Hi, I am interested in getting know more about ways that parents and schools...

Hi, I am interested in getting know more about ways that parents and schools...

Hi, I am interested in getting know more about ways that parents and schools use to keep kids and students motivated in reading. Would you provide me with further information? Thanks!


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Here are some activities we use here at Helsinki City Library and other city libraries in Helsinki metropolitan area (i.e. Espoo, Kauniainen and Vantaa) to motivate kids to read. These activities introduce stories, books and reading to kids of all age.

Babies (under 12 months) of approximately same age meet with their parents at the library. We read nursery rhymes, poems and sing songs to cherish the babies while playing games such as peek-a-boo etc.

Book clubs are arranged even for toddlers (1-3-year-olds). These meetings remind a bit of storytelling hours, but we discuss the meanings of different words etc. Traditional storytelling hours are still the most common activity to introduce books and stories to under 7-year-olds.

For nursery schools we have bookbag-projects. The project started as a part of our Swedish-speaking services and this year it starts slightly adapted also in Finnish. The idea is that a number of bookbags rotate in nursery schools within a certain region. Every bag contains books about different themes. There is also a booklet included in which the children can leave comments on the books (with the help from their teachers). The nursery schools keep the bags for a fortnight or a month and then change them. This project was originally arranged in co-operation with the library, social services department and cultural office of the city of Helsinki.

Booktalks are part of our basic services. We have 32 committed booktalkers at Helsinki City Library and we give varieties of booktalks to pupils (6-19-year-olds) at school or library. We compile booktalks on certain subjects by teachers’ request or we can give booktalks by genres etc.

We have organised Eager reader contest (Kova lukija -kisa in Finnish) in co-operation with the education department for several times. The contest of finding the class with the most eager readers takes place on alternate years. Pupils read as many books they want, count the pages and mark the information to their reading diaries. The contest starts on October 10th and ends on January 28th.

Our neighbouring city Vantaa organises reading diploma campaigns for pupils in comprehensive schools and even higher education. Aspiring after these diplomas is voluntary, but participation may improve pupils’ literature marks on their reports. To get these diplomas pupils need to read a certain amount of books on different themes. There is no time limit in getting these diplomas.

For teenagers we have organised a Love Bus project in which we loaded our mobile library with interesting books, films and music on love, growing up, sex and relationships. Together with professional sex educators we encouraged the kids to read and think and discuss for example sexual rights etc.

Almost every library offers visits by authors, pop stars, athletes or other celebrities in order to motivate kids to read.

On our web pages librarians recommend stories to read and of course the kids themselves want to review books and share their opinions with their peers.

I hope this gives you some ideas of how we at Helsinki City Library encourage kids to read.

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