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Education Worldwide

“Foreningen !les“ encourages people to read

Nationwide campaign in Norway


Logo Foreningen !les

© The Association Read

"Foreningen !les" (The Association Read) is a nationwide campaign to encourage people in Norway to read more books. It was established in 1997 as an initiative partly financed by membership fees and contributions from the participating organizations, and partly through governmental funding. The Association Read is founded upon the experiences of similar campaigns in other countries such as Lësrørelsen in Sweden, Stiftung Lesen in Germany, and National Literacy Trust in England. The Association Read works on young people’s attitude towards literature and to give young readers an overview over recently published books from Norwegian and translated writer´s within a wide field of publications. The Association Read collaborates with The National Library of Norway, different organisations, teachers, librarians, booksellers, writers and publishing houses to encourage as many as possible to read. The Association Read organizes diverse campaigns and projects approaching different target groups in different settings.

"Leseåret 2010" - The National Reading Year 2010
The National Reading Year 2010 is an initiative of The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) and Norwegian Library Association. It is funded by the Ministry of Culture and the main objective is to encourage adults who don´t read that much to become more interested in reading and literature. The Association Read has together with Norwegian Writer´s Centre and Books for everyone a leading role in organising the National Reading Year.

One of the Association Reads main objectives in cooperation with Norwegian Writer´s Centre in the National Reading Year is to offer work places of various professions free visits from librarians and writer´s. Since May 2010 many librarians (Reading Agents) together with writer´s have visited work places during i.e. lunch time or morning meetings to talk about literature and the value of reading. This activity will continue throughout the whole year. At the same time The Association Read offers visits from Reading Agents to parental meetings in kindergartens and primary schools to talk about the project Read for me, dad! You can read more about this project under the headline Read for me, dad! below.

During the first week in November The Association Read in cooperation with The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions and The National Library of Norway offers companies a stationary bookcase where employees can hand in, borrow and swap books, plus a book package as a start for companies to establish their own libraries. The campaign was accomplished through a bigger event in week 44 at Gadermoen airport.

"tXt" for 13 to 16 year old youths
tXt was established in 1997 and is the biggest and oldest reading campaign for Norwegian youths between 13-16 years old. Together with an individual share from The Association Read the campaign has until today been supported by the Norwegian Centre for Arts and Culture in Education. The time period of the campaign lasts from August to December each year. The main objectives are to create and develop a greater engagement in reading and a positive attitude towards literature among pupils in middle schools all over the country. Pupils and teachers receive a free pocket book with a broad selection of abstracts from different genres of books i.e. novels, short stories, poetry, cartoons, non-fiction and plays etc. The abstracts are selected from recent publications for children, youths and adults written by Norwegians and translated authors. The pocket book is meant to function as a supplement to the classical literature pupils are presented with during school and aim to show the diversity of recently published literature available. There are no requirements for joining the campaign as the whole idea is to let pupils use it the way they feel and read in the book whenever they want. A film is following the pocket books as a starting point for a contest where pupils individually or as a whole class can send in their answers. To receive the material for free teachers are asked to answer a questionnaire at the end of the campaign.

"Rein tekst" for 16 to 19 year old youths
This campaign is built on many of the same methods and principles as "tXt", but the target group in "Rein tekst" are students at Norwegian high schools. The pocket book therefore contains abstracts from various publications meant to embrace more experienced readers than in tXt, but covers the same variety of genres as the pocket books in the tXt-campaign. During The National Reading Year 2010 Rein tekst addresses workplaces, too. The pocket books therefore contain interviews featuring various professional profiles. An enquiry addressing companies in Norway to participate in the campaign is undertaken.

"NM i poesi slam" - Poetry Slam
Poetry Slam is a contest which blends poetry, hip-hop-, theater, sport and performance. The participants are judged on the basis of the content of their lyrics and their performing skills. Semi-finals are arranged at literature festivals around Norway hosted by local representatives. The Master of Poetry Slam is acclaimed after an exciting final at the House of Literature in Oslo in November every year.

"Idrett og lesing" - Sport and Reading
Sport and Reading was a three year project by The Association Read funded by The Norwegian Archive, Library and Museum Authority (now the National Library of Norway) and Arts Council Norway. The main objective was to bring literature into the sport field to create a joy for reading among athletes in different sports sections including mass and elite sports. Key persons in the project were locker-room librarians. Equipped with book bags from The Association Read they visited teams and clubs before or after training sessions or competitions to establish a locker-room library and to inform about different books. The Association Read also co-operated with different sport federations and Norwegian Writer´s Centre to offer teams and clubs visits from top athletes and authors with an interest in sports. During the Olympic Games in Beijing, China, in 2008, The Association Read delivered eight book bags to Norwegian athletes. The books became a great tool for the athletes in their resting periods throughout the Olympics.

"Les for meg, pappa!" - Read for me, dad!
"Read for me, dad!" is a three year project by The Association Read funded by The National Library of Norway. The project was established in 2009 with a different focus each year. The first year The Association Read visited parental meetings in kindergartens and primary schools. Main fields of activity for 2010 and 2011 are workplaces and leisure centres as, e.g. sport tracks. The project is built on many of the same methods as Sport and Reading, meaning that librarians are key persons in this project too. However, here they are labeled Reading Agents instead of Locker-room librarians. These agents meet parents (dads) in various settings to talk about the value of reading out aloud and to promote themselves as reading role models for their children. The Association Read has developed a pocket book with various abstracts from different publications suitable for reading out to children and for more quiet reading for dads themselves. Brochures providing information about the project and some book tips plus posters are available too.

"UPrisen" - The Youth Literature Award
The Youth Literature Award is the youths own award for the best Young Adult Book of the year. Every year, nine different school classes from the middle school are selected on the grounds of their application to represent the jury who will decide the winner. Throughout the process pupils read five books picked from the best reviews written by youth themselves. The classes then choose their favorite books which will be debated with participants from each class during a meeting in Oslo in advance of the award show hosted by the Norwegian Festival of Literature at Lillehammer in May every year. The Youth Literature Award’s main objective is to create positive experiences for pupils as readers. Presumably, a lifelong interest for literature can thus be established in the youths. The award’s ambition is to regard youths as readers who can develop their own opinions, criticism and knowledge about literature. It should also highlight the Young Adult Literature available and consciousness and skills surrounding this type of literature from the pupils, teachers, librarians and media etc. point of view.

V"Ungdommens kritikerpris" - The Young Critics Award
The Young Critics Award is inspired by the French literature price Goncourt des Lycéens. The award seeks to acknowledge youths as readers of the contemporary Norwegian literature and experience indicates that the award contributes to create a pleasure and interest for reading among the youths participating. Nine different classes from various professions at high school are selected to represent the jury. The classes read eight different novels published the current year and during a time period of about three months they have to decide which book they will defend at a meeting behind closed doors in Oslo a week before the ceremony where the winner is announced. The books are picked out by The Norwegian Critics Association and the students are guided by professional reviewers of literature. 300 secondary school libraries throughout Norway receive free copies of the winning book.

Lost in Translation
Lost in Translation was a project by The Association Read were the main objective was to establish an interest for reading offering school classes visits from writers and presentations of books in Norwegian and students mother tongue as Urdu, Arabic and Somali. The Association Read arranged workshops for bilingual students where the main objective was to give them the possibility to discuss potential obstacles for the joy of reading and how these obstacles could be overcome. The advice from the students was used in guidelines given to teachers and others who were interested.

In addition to the projects mentioned above, The Association Read is at the moment planning activities and projects relating to family learning, immigrants, multicultural and bilingual Norwegians.

Foreningen !les - The Association Read
Oevre Vollgate 15
0158 OSLO
Phone: +47 22 400 600
E-mail: les@foreningenles.no
Internet: See also: Promoting Reading in Norway