The investigated good practices of awareness raising for low literacy are:
1. General Hospital Dubrovnik – Croatia:
The case study in the General Hospital Dubrovnik focuses on the “read to me” project of the paediatrics department. The project goals are to raise awareness on the importance of reading out loud to children at a young age and to show the impact of literacy on health. The target audiences are doctors, nurses and the paediatric community parents. The objective is to publish and distribute age-appropriate books for children, which can be distributed during infants’ and children’s regular health check-ups at the hospital. By the age of 6 every child should have received 4 high-quality children’s books, with each book targeting a different developmental stage.
2. Hungarian Reading Association - Hungary:
The Hungarian Reading Association (HunRA) was established in 1991. Currently it has around 300 members and is comprised of librarians, teachers, publishers, NGO’s, researchers and other relevant stakeholders. It aims to support a thriving reading and writing culture across different sectors. To achieve this, the Hungarian Reading Association organises numerous activities, including publishing books and leaflets on how to support reading practices, organising various awareness-raising campaigns, conferences and events, such as the national day of the folk tales, and providing expert support (reading mates) for children in foster care. It also actively participates in various networks at national and international levels. Some of its activities, such as the National Day of Folk Tales, are an annual tradition and involve many towns within and even beyond Hungary.
3. NALA - Ireland:
The National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA), an independent charity, was established in 1980 by volunteers concerned about the lack of support for adults with literacy and numeracy difficulties in Ireland. It has a threefold aim: first, to ensure that national policy priorities for adult literacy are implemented; second, to develop better opportunities for literacy and numeracy learning based on effective methods such as distance and blended learning; and third, to make it easier for people with literacy difficulties to take up literacy and numeracy learning opportunities and use other public services. To achieve these aims, NALA undertakes numerous activities, including development of appropriate teaching materials, distance learning, policy advocacy, research and campaigns to raise awareness about adult literacy challenges and services in Ireland (e.g. tutor training). NALA has become a leading campaigning and lobbying force on adult literacy issues in Ireland.
4. The community of Amsterdam – The Netherlands:
In order to bring (political) attention for literacy, the municipality of Amsterdam organised “language markets”. First it aimed to provide a platform for decision-makers to share their plans for new policies, programmes and projects. In the future, the municipality would like to bring together members of the network, who haven’t previously participated. The language market potentially provides an effective way for literacy supporters, volunteer organisations, language learning centres, the municipal library and the citizens of Amsterdam, and others to meet. In addition, the community of Amsterdam has organised language markets at the OBA (several locations of the library) to reach other citizens.
5. Beanstalk – United Kingdom:
Beanstalk has developed a mix of strategies to raise and sustain interest in literacy challenges and volunteer opportunities. The most significant campaign was with The Evening Standard, a free newspaper with a circulation of about 900,000. In partnership with Beanstalk, the paper published a series of stories. The series began by citing statistics on the scale of the challenge of low literacy for school-aged children. This was followed by stories focused on human interest stories. During the campaign, a school with particularly challenging circumstances was adopted as the ‘flagship’ for the campaign. The school was featured in a major Evening Standard story. They received funding and were allocated several Beanstalk reading volunteers to help children to meet reading targets. In addition to the partnership with The Evening Standard, Beanstalk has sponsored a Reading Festival (with 10.000 participants gathering in Trafalgar Square to read), celebrity ambassador school visits, and more targeted campaigns to recruit volunteers from different associations (retirees, police, and so on).