Ljubljana – The nationwide Reading Badge association, which promotes reading among children, teenagers and adults, received an award for innovation in promoting reading culture at the 22nd European Conference on Literacy in Dublin. It was rewarded for 60 years of uninterrupted innovative efforts for encouraging reading.
The award was accepted by the association’s secretary general, Manca Perko, on 5 July. The association said it was “intended for all who have built the Reading Badge for 60 years: the current and previous programme committees, reading mentors, team members, friends and supporters – their persistence, dedication and hard work and primarily their love to readers, reading and literature.”
The award was conferred by the Federation of European Literacy Associations, which the Reading Badge has been a member of since 2020.
Throughout its 60-year history Reading Badge has turned into the mainstay of extracurricular activities, particularly in primary schools, but also in kindergartens, secondary schools and book clubs.
The association, which was set up in 2002, estimates that some 140,000 children take part in the Reading Badge programmes every year.
Its 60th anniversary was celebrated at the Cankarjev Dom culture centre in Ljubljana in May 2021.
The movement was established in Prevalje in northern Slovenia where the first badge was given to an aspiring reader in the town’s primary school in 1961.
Children’s author Leopold Suhodolčan, who was the school’s headmaster, and Stanko Kotnik, who taught Slovenian there, came up with the idea for the campaign.