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The IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award
The IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award is given biennially to two groups or institutions whose outstanding activities are judged to be making a lasting contribution to reading promotion programs for children and young people. The Award was established in 1986 and is sponsored by the Asahi Shimbun newspaper. Read more about the award and its regulations, and consider submitting an application using this form.

IBBY Announces the Winners of the 2016 IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award

Angela Lebedeva (Russia), chair of the jury for the 2016 IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award today announced the winners of the 2016 IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award. IBBY is very grateful to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper company in Japan for their sponsorship of this prestigious award.

The two winning projects are: 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 preschool to 16 year olds 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. Since 2010, Read With Me has extended to 13 provinces in Iran, including 15 city centers, 6 marginal areas and 75 remote villages. By 2015 it had reached over 13,000 children in the age group 4-16 and more than 500 teachers, preschool tutors and volunteers have been trained through this project. The project is funded by donations and mainly run by volunteers.

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 and that this is important in helping promote reading and fighting against the widespread illiteracy, still found in Laos.

The award was founded in 1986 and is presented every two years to two projects that are run by groups or institutions. The winners are selected from among projects nominated by IBBY national sections from all over the world.

The Jury members in alphabetical order by country: Vagn Plenge (Denmark), Sunjidmaa Jamba (Mongolia), Timotea Vrablova (Slovakia), Serpil Ural (Turkey) and Evelyn Freeman (USA).

The two winners were selected from eleven nominations made by the IBBY National Sections.

Contact: For more information, full descriptions of the winners and information about IBBY, go to www.ibby.org.

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 run by groups or institutions that are judged to be making a lasting contribution to reading promotion for children and young people.

The Award is given every two years to two projects and presented to the winners at the biennial IBBY Congress. It was a difficult task for the current jury to choose two winners from the fourteen nominations as all the projects were of great merit and complemented IBBY´s Mission Statement. Each nominated project targeted children who live in disadvantageous circumstances with no or little access to books. They are really Reading Promotion Projects!

The projects nominated for the 2014 IBBY-Asahi Award were:

After an intensive discussion the jury made its choice from these fourteen projects, we are pleased to announce that the IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Awards for 2014 go to:

The Children´s Book Bank
Toronto, Canada
PRAESA, South Africa

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. It is also the first home to many new Canadians. 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: 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, where teachers and children communicate in a language they command and understand.

Currently PRAESA is researching how e-tablets can be used as tools to increase the stock of mother tongue reading materials, for the multilingual classroom and community. They are doing further studies to work out in which conditions e-tablets can be best used to help motivate and support reading for enjoyment.

PRAESA´s activities are in agreement with the basic philosophy of IBBY in that they value the child´s mother tongue. Their study of how to incorporate new media, such as tablets, is unique as a research and development programme focusing on bi-literacy and bilingualism in early childhood education.

This is the third time an organization in South Africa has won the IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award. As the 2014 winner, the PRAESA projects and activities are especially significant because this year is the 20th anniversary of the abolition of apartheid.

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

IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award

2012 IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award:
Recognizing and Celebrating Reading for Children and Young People around the World

The IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award is presented to projects run by groups or institutions around the world that are making a lasting contribution to reading promotion for children and young people. The award, initiated by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) and sponsored by the Japanese newspaper company, Asahi Shimbun, is given every two years to two groups or institutions. Nominations for the $10,000 awards can be submitted through the national sections of IBBY. For a description of previous winners, go to: http://www.ibby.org/index.php?id=272.

The 2012 awards were announced on March 19th at the Bologna Children´s Book Festival. After an intensive discussion, the jury made its choices from the seventeen nominated projects and announced that the IBBY Asahi Reading Promotion Awards for 2012 go to:

Abuelas Cuentacuentos (Storytelling Grandmothers), an Argentine foundation set up by author, Mempo Giardinelli, to provide educational support to his home province of Chaco and later across Argentina. The program is aimed at inspiring a love of reading in the country´s poorest children. Elderly volunteers visit schools, orphanages and hospitals where the children would not otherwise have the opportunity for someone to read them a story. www.abuelascuentacuento.org.ar.

SIPAR, Cambodia is a collective adventure, devoted entirely to Cambodia that seeks to build bridges between Cambodian cultures. For the last twenty years, this organization has concentrated its activity in the rural areas. SIPAR´s goal is to open doors on the world through the pleasures of reading and to support children and young people on the road towards knowledge, the first step in the battle against illiteracy and poverty. http://www.sipar.org/