IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award

IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award

The IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award was established in 1986 during the IBBY Congress in Tokyo. The Asahi Shimbun newspaper company sponsors the award. It is given biennially to two groups or institutions whose outstanding activities are judged to be making a lasting contribution to reading promotion programmes for children and young people.

The nominations are submitted by the national sections of IBBY and may include projects from any part of the world. The jury consists of members of the IBBY Executive Committee. A diploma and a prize of US $10,000 is presented to the winners at the biennial IBBY Congress.

More information on the IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award

2016 Awards

The two winning projects in 2016 were: Read With Me, Iran and Big Brother Mouse, Luang Prabang City, Laos.

Read With Me has the objective of making quality books accessible to disadvantaged children in marginal areas of big cities and those living in remote and deprived areas of Iran. The project, nominated by IBBY Iran, provides books and focuses on reading aloud to create a meaningful experience for children; it introduces related art and craft activities, with an emphasis on role-playing and drama as part of reading sessions; it empowers teachers, librarians and volunteers through training workshops and regular mentoring and, as the final phase, it sets up small libraries to ensure sustainability of the work already done. The target groups for this project are children, both boys and girls, from pre-school to 16 years, who are generally at risk because of their living environment. These include street or working children, orphans and those living in remote and deprived areas in Iran. The project is designed to be flexible so that it can be implemented at home, at school, at the library or any place in the community. The content of the project is socially and culturally adaptable to the needs of different target areas.

The nomination of Big Brother Mouse was submitted by IBBY Switzerland and endorsed by the IBBY sections of Denmark, France and Germany. Traditionally, books have been rare in Laos. Although the number of children who go to school is slowly but steadily increasing, many children have never read a book outside of school textbooks. Few Lao people think that reading can be fun, can add to their education, or will provide information to improve their quality of life. Very few books are published in Laos, and they never reach the villages where most people live. Many Lao children leave school very early as they are needed to help the family to survive, thus their education is very basic.

Big Brother Mouse is based in Luang Prabang and Vientiane and all the planning and decisions are made in Laos, based on and often adapting to the conditions that are faced there. The first books were made in 2006. Some are just in Lao; others are in both Lao and English, making them useful not only for the primary audience – Lao children – but also for people of any age who speak either English or Lao, and are learning the other language. The project aims to give books, especially children’s books, an important place in Laos as well as make sure that children in rural areas have access to books. They believe that every child should have the possibility to read and enjoy books, to help promote reading and fight against the widespread illiteracy still found in Laos.

About IBBY

The International Board on Books for Young People is a unique international alliance of everyone interested in children’s literature: academics, librarians, writers, illustrators, publishers, teachers, literacy workers, booksellers, parents and others.

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