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    May 21, 2021

    Six innovative reading projects from around the world in the running for the Systematic Joy of Reading Award 2021

    Through focusing on the joy of reading and making a difference in the world, six reading projects have just been nominated for the Systematic Joy of Reading Award 2021 and USD 10,000 in prize money.

    four girls smiling and listening to their teacher

    This is the third time that Systematic is recognising a project that is committed to promoting the enjoyment that can be derived from reading and in so doing bring an end to illiteracy.

    All the nominees for the Systematic Joy of Reading Award 2021 have displayed considerable inventiveness and ambition in using books and the love of a good story as a way of combatting illiteracy.

    The nominated projects are being run in various continents, and come from the following countries: the Netherlands, Jordan, Peru, South Africa, Uganda and Denmark.

    The doorway to development should be open to all

    The six nominated projects have been selected by an independent, international jury, which has assessed the applicants according to the degree of innovation, how the initiative fosters a joy of reading, as well as the project’s ability to reach out to as many people as possible. It has been an exciting but also challenging task, says jury member and Group Senior Vice President at Systematic, Martin Brøchner-Mortensen:

    “It has been an extremely inspiring process reviewing all the entries from 23 countries. They all testify to the fact that every day huge efforts are being made in many parts of the world to reach out to people who have very little or no access to learning to read or education. Being able to read and use language is a doorway to development which we believe should be open to everyone,” he says.

    The six nominated projects focus on widely differing target groups: Prison inmates, the blind and visually impaired, as well as children and young people in rural districts as well as the urban disadvantaged. Even though the target groups vary, the aim is the same: To spread the joy, desire and opportunity to read, so that people are able to improve their situation.

    Supporting the UN Development Goals for education

    According to the UN, the fight against illiteracy is one of the most important focus areas with regard to countering inequality in the world and helping people to a better life.

    “The Systematic Joy of Reading Award was established with UN Sustainable Development Goal 4 Quality Education in mind, which aims to ensure that all young people achieve literacy and numeracy by 2030. We support the fight against illiteracy, and I was very happy after having read about all the amazing initiatives from all corners of the world. Common to all the projects is the high level of creativity, inventiveness and, not least, the will to make a difference in the local society,” says jury chair and long-standing member of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Marian Morgan-Bindon from Australia.

    The Joy of Reading Award was established by Systematic in collaboration with Next Library® – an international library conference that brings together library professionals from all over the world every other year. The award is being presented for the third time on 3 June 2021 at DOKK1 as part of the Next Library Festival, and will be presented by IFLA president Christine McKenzie.

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