Happy World Book Day!
“Reading the world always precedes reading the word" Paulo Freire
Educating cities promote reading as a key factor to develop critical thinking, and to read and reread the city and the world we live in. This enhanced critical thinking becomes even more necessary in a global world where new technologies have made available information which is not always true or reliable.
But in addition to promoting reading as a way to develop various skills and competencies, educating cities promote reading as a form of educational leisure.
To celebrate International Book Day, we put forward the following initiatives available at the IAEC Bank of Experiences:
- Nova Petrópolis: “Reading City: comprehensive programme to promote reading in the municipality”. A programme that promotes reading with numerous activities throughout the year, such as a book fair, a local reading day, meetings with authors, the “strip cartoon without owner” or readers’ camps.
- Valongo: “The Human Library of Valongo for Students”. The Human Library is a place where people can “borrow” a person as if they were a book. The goal is to provide a framework for dialogue through which we can confront stereotypes and foster tolerance and social inclusion. A place where people “on loan” respond to questions. This library is unique and mainly addressed to young people aged 14-15, in order to foster values-based education.
- Alcobendas: “A tree for your future”. This innovative project aims to bring environmental issues closer to students, raising awareness of the relationship between nature and the various academic subjects: the role of trees in literature, art, mithology, history or science.
- Paredes: “Tales and Points”. To promote reading and writing among pupils, this project invites families of first graders (6 years old) to go to school to read a tale and decorate a square of fabric. At the end of the school year, all the squares are brought together to create a blanket of stories. These blankets will be randomly distributed to schools in the following academic year. All classes in the 2nd year will produce a new story from the images of the blanket.
- Rosario: “Descanso al paso” this proposal by a cultural center invites citizens to take a break by preparing themselves a tea or mate with herbs from the garden, read a book, a newspaper or listen to stories, among other cultural activities.
- Santomera: “Reading to our seniors”. With the aim of promoting intergenerational relationships and breaking the isolation of the elderly, this project sets up groups of volunteers that read and discuss small literary texts with the seniors in nursing homes.
- Torres Novas: “Mercado da palavra”. An extions of the library is brought to the weekly market. There, people can go shopping and borrow books or read the newspaper.
We would also like to recommend the article “Helsinki City Library, a Cornucopia of Urban Culture and Learning”available at the latest IAEC monograph, where you can explore the role of libraries in the promotion of culture.