IBBY Announces the Winners of the 2014 IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award
The IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award, initiated by the International Board on Books for Young People and sponsored by the Japanese newspaper company the Asahi Shimbun, is presented to projects that are judged to be making a lasting contribution to reading promotion for young people.
Given every two years to two projects and presented to the winners at the biennial IBBY Congress. This year’s award will go to The Children’s Book Bank and PRAESA.
“It was a difficult task for the jury to choose two winners from the fourteen nominations as all the projects are of great merit and complement IBBY’s Mission Statement” said Jury President Kiyoko Matsuoka. “Each project targets children who live in disadvantageous circumstances with no or little access to books. They are really Reading Promotion Projects!”
The other projects nominated for the 2014 IBBY-Asahi Award were:
International Book Art Festival: Back to Book, Yerevan; proposed by IBBY Armenia
ATD Quart Monde: Street Libraries, International; proposed by IBBY France
Room to Read, International; proposed by IBBY Germany
The Travelling Library: Knowledge Beyond, Piraeus; proposed by IBBY Greece
Le Biblioteche di Antonio, Rome; proposed by IBBY Italy
Palabra en la Montaña, Tepoztlán, Morelos; proposed by IBBY Mexico
Voice Keeper Children of the Forest, Lamas; proposed by IBBY Peru
The All-Poland Tactile Book Library, Lublin; proposed by IBBY Poland
The Reading Badge Crossing Boundaries to all kind of Minorities, National; proposed by IBBY Slovenia
Literacy Project, Lake Titicaca, Peru; proposed by IBBY USA
The Sullivan Literacy Center, Valdosta, GA; proposed by IBBY USA
BBVA Provincial Foundation Papagayo Program, Caracas; proposed by IBBY Venezuela
The Children’s Book Bank, Toronto, Canada nominated by IBBY Canada
The Children’s Book Bank was founded in 2007 in Toronto with the mission of supporting children’s literacy by recycling gently used children’s books and distributing them, free of charge, to children living in high-needs neighbourhoods. The area where the Book Bank is located is one of Toronto’s high density / low income neighbourhoods. There are 102 nationalities within a two kilometres radius of the Book Bank!
The Book Bank operates like a bookstore, but with one big difference: the books are free to children. There is no membership, registration or fee of any kind at the Book Bank. On each visit children are permitted to choose and take home to keep one book. They are encouraged to visit frequently and to build their own home libraries, which supports the development of book-reading activities, as well as a love of reading.
We selected the Children’s Book Bank as one of this year’s winners because it is a very simple system of book recycling, which in addition to getting books into the hands of children, effectively uses the skills of retired librarians and teachers. This idea has the possibility to be expanded and replicated in many places.
PRAESA, South Africa nominated by IBBY Sweden
PRAESA: The Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa, PRAESA is an independent unit for research and development, attached to the faculty of Humanities at the University of Cape Town. PRAESA was established in 1992 having emerged from the struggle against apartheid education.
PRAESA organizes various projects for development of bilingualism and bi-literacy in early childhood education, as well as running activities developed to raise the status of African languages in society.
It lobbies for language policy in education, especially the area of language policy within the education policy, and implementation at national and provincial government levels. Its focus is on a well-run mother tongue based bilingual system that provides the best of both words for all children, and where teachers and children communicate in a language they command and understand.
PRAESA’s activities are in agreement with the basic philosophy of IBBY in that they value the child’s mother tongue. PRAESA is studying how to incorporate new media, such as tablets, this unique research and development programme focuses on bi-literacy and bilingualism in early childhood education.
IBBY warmly congratulates these two outstanding projects for their creative and effective approaches to helping children enter the world of books and reading.
The 2014 jury comprised:
Jury Chair Kiyoko Matsuoka (Japan), Marilar Aleixandre (Spain), Hasmig Chahinian (France), Nadia El Kholy (Egypt), Azucena Galindo (Mexico), Linda Pavonetti (USA) and Timotea Vrablova (Slovakia).
The prize money of US $10,000 for each winning project will be presented at the 34th IBBY Congress in Mexico City, at a special festive occasion on Friday, 12 September 2014 at the Papalote Children’s Museum in Mexico City.
The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) is a non-profit organization that represents an international network of people from all over the world who are committed to bringing books and children together. It represents countries with well-developed book publishing and literacy programmes, and other countries with only a few dedicated professionals who are doing pioneer work in children’s book publishing and promotion.
Bologna, 24 March 2014 / Kiyoko Matsuoka