“If I can read, I can dream in new ways. If I can dream, I can dare to believe in what I dream about. If I can believe in what I dream of, I can become who I dream of becoming.” This quote was to be the starting point for Reading owns (Läsa äger).
Almost every second student loses their ability to read during the summer holidays, the “summer reading loss”, as it is called in international studies, shows that the fragile readers are the ones who lose the most. When school starts after the summer holidays the gap between those who can read and those who are not yet fluent in their reading has increased. The staff around Reading owns wanted to change this in a cross-professional approach. Reading owns began as a project at three schools in socio-economically vulnerable areas in Botkyrka (a municipality just outside Stockholm) and was researched at Linnaeus and Linköping Universities. Could the reading engagement be kept going during the summer holidays and the reading condition in trim even for those who had difficulty with their reading? They made a difference, and the big winners were the children with reading difficulties.
Reading owns was started in 2018 with the goal of getting children to keep reading even during the summer holidays. Reading owns is a collaboration between different actors that works for all children’s right to a reading community. Youth are hired to read to younger children at various leisure centers. The results have been striking and the research shows that Reading owns contributes to improving both vocabulary and reading comprehension. The young people who are employed as holiday trainees have also expressed that it makes a difference even for them. Part of the project is also about the joy of movement, so some children are attracted to the reading lessons by first playing football or something similar. In addition to reading out loud in leisure centers, parent meetings are included where, among other things, people are informed about the importance of reading and help families to obtain a library card. After the first year, lending at the libraries in Botkyrka increased by more than 600 percent that first summer.
Reading Owns has expanded from Botkyrka to about twenty locations in Sweden (and in Boston!) and several municipalities are about to start.
I hope you find this interesting you are more than welcome to contact us:
Initiator Reading owns (Läsa äger)
Lovisa Fhager Logothetis
Secretary General, the Bonnier Family Foundation
Läsa Äger är ett samarbete mellan olika aktörer som verkar för alla barns rätt till en läsande gemenskap.