Open the door to reading Erasmus Project

General information for the Open the door to reading Erasmus Project

Open the door to reading Erasmus Project
July 7, 2020 12:00 am
60

Project Title

Open the door to reading

Project Key Action

This project related with these key action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices

Project Action Type

This project related with this action type : Strategic Partnerships for school education

Project Call Year

This project’s Call Year is 2017

Project Topics

This project is related with these Project Topics: Inclusion – equity; Early School Leaving / combating failure in education; Key Competences (incl. mathematics and literacy) – basic skills

Project Summary

Inequalities in living conditions and health is a reality for many of the world’s cities today. It is also the context of which the project Open the door for reading has emerged. The report, Closing the gap in a generation (WHO 2005), has resulted in strategies in many European cities, of which the partners cities Gothenburg, Bristol, Brussels, Milan and Turku are examples. The action plans undertaken by these cities address the general and specific challenges to enable better livelihood and equality for all. Support for social sustainability exists on all levels, for example the UN Agenda 2030, the European Pillar of Social Rights, the emphasis on social inclusion in the Erasmus+ program. Within this framework all five partner cities are committed towards implementing actions and/or policies to support a good start in life for all children. This ambition has been the common ground for the partnership and Gothenburg´s initiative “The city where we read to our children” has been a driving force for the project’s theme and content.

Early language development and reading is perceived as a fundamental right of the child as it plays a vital role in a child’s ability and motivation to learn during school years. Open the Door to Reading has been geared towards strengthening the support of children’s language and literacy development. The most important resource to encourage children’s language development are the parents. Focus has therefore been on developing supportive methods to strengthen parent’s ability to support their children. The partners have exchanged innovative practices as well as developed new tools within this field. The projects cross-sectoral structure involved professionals from pre-schools, library’s, child health care services and family Centres. The aim was to share and improve existing tools and methods and in partnership develop a training manual for professionals from different fields of expertise on how to reach children and their families.

Transnational Partner Meetings (TPM) have been used to share and develop competence around reading promotion. Each partner has hosted a three-day TPM with a specific theme which included presentations of good practice, study visits and workshops. Workshops around the training manual were also implemented. The five TPMs enrolled 140 people participants (pre-school teachers, librarians, family centre staff, strategic planners in education, university teachers, adult education and teachers working with multilingual families). Two Multiplier Events have been held, in Brussels and in Milan which included representatives from different academic fields and professionals giving both an operative and a strategic perspective to reading promotion. The events reached in total over 250 people, far greater than anticipated in the project proposal. The Training Manual (TM) for professionals is a supportive guide and provides a selection of tools and methods professionals can use on a general basis as well as directed at specific targets groups. Over 190 professionals have taken part in the testing and local follow-up of the TM.

The project has influenced the cities’ in so many ways and has had an impact at both an operative and policy level. For example, Gothenburg´s programme has inspired Bristol’s new strategy ‘Bristol: A Reading City’ and Milan has implemented a group of Reading Ambassadors. The TPM in Brussels, presented kamishibai as a method to support language learning in early childhood education which generated great interest amongst the librarians from Turku who applied for national funding to implement the kamishibai in Turku.

The cross-sectorial collaboration between professionals are the most prominent long-term benefit. Milan has for example introduced a strategic multi-stakeholder group, composed of the early childhood services area, library area and the Health Department. In Turku, the library sector has set up a new network between pre-schools, child welfare, NGOs, church, children culture planner, and director of early childhood education. The TM as an educational tool will also have long-term benefits within the cities. Supporting a continuation of reading promotion and the knowledge amongst professionals on the importance of early intervention and child literacy support. This is expected to have a long-term effect in the form of new co-designed approaches.
The partner cities are now also better equipped to adapted reading promotion to meet the needs of children and parents. There is greater insight into steps needed to stimulate reading and literacy from a very early age and better understanding of the needs and challenges facing vulnerable families and their children. Hopefully, the knowledge and practices from this partnership, will lead to greater opportunities for young children, especially those children growing up in a non-literary environment. By supporting children’s learning conditions, we can contribute to the greater goal; social equality.

EU Grant (Eur)

Funding of the project from EU: 100195 Eur

Project Coordinator

Göteborgs Stad, Förskoleförvaltningen & Country: SE

Project Partners

  • CITY OF TURKU
  • COMUNE DI MILANO
  • BRISTOL CITY COUNCIL
  • ITAMEREN ALUEEN TERVEET KAUPUNGIT RY
  • Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie