Project “Innovative reading promotion solutions for Lithuanian libraries for the development of social relations of children and youth with the environment”

Project “Innovative reading promotion solutions for Lithuanian libraries for the development of social relations of children and youth with the environment” is financed for the period of 2014-2021 by the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism Instrument “Developing Access to Culture and Strengthening Cultural Education”.

More information on EEA and Norwegian financial mechanisms: www.eeagrants.lt/en

The aim of the project is to develop an innovative reading promotion tool that would shape students’ reading habits, deepen their knowledge and adapt their reading experience to building social relationships with the environment (peers, parents, teachers, etc.), problem solving, and creative self-expression.

Implementation period 2021 August – 2023 April

Target groups Students of 5–8 grades (young people aged 10–15) living and studying in Panevėžys, Kaunas and Klaipėda regions.

Problems that the project addresses

  1. Decrease in readings habits of the target group. Studies show that fifth graders are the age group that reads significantly less than pupils of primary school. Children and young people read many and varied texts, but rarely choose quality, valuable literature.
  2. Challenges in adolescence. During adolescence, youngsters experience many changes, when it is difficult to understand oneself, relationships with parents change, new authorities are sought, and friends become especially important. Social networks have a significant negative impact by offering unrealistic living standards and aspirations. During this period reliable guidelines in life are of great importance. We aim to make the reading of target literature a valuable aid to children and adolescents in shaping their identity and relationships with the environment.
  3. Impact of the pandemic. The tensions caused by distance learning, isolation, and limited communication have already affected children – the psychological and psychosomatic consequences of immobility and IT dependence have increased. Introducing the game which promotes reading, we aim to create a means of networking, which encourages and emphasizes the importance of communication, mutual help and empathy for each other.

Solutions of the problems

The project will create a virtual game available in a free mobile app which will meet students’ need to play online games as well as integrate elements that promote the reading of valuable literature and solving psychological or social problems.

Seeking to gain deeper understanding of children’s and adolescents’ issues and reading skills, a study is carried out at the beginning of the project.

Based on the findings of the study, a virtual game which encourages problem solving through reading target literature will be created.  An important part of the game is a specially formed, game-related collection of books, which will be provided to 39 libraries in Panevėžys, Kaunas and Klaipėda regions. These books will be the guide to playing the game successfully.

Game. A reading challenge game and a collection of books for the target group will be available in a free mobile app, literature related to the game’s tasks will be found on special themed shelves in libraries and other denoted areas.

The virtual game will be based on a certain story with tasks. The script will be constructed as a chain of events based on choices and decisions of the game hero. By playing this game, children and adolescents will look for answers and advice in the target literature and learn to behave responsibly in different social situations. Representatives of the cultural, artistic, scientific and creative industries as well as youth volunteers will be involved in the development of the game.

Educational activities. In order to create conditions for the target group to participate in project-related educations, the experts will prepare a set of educational-cultural activities according to the content of the virtual game and book collection. Students will have the opportunity to participate in these educational activities systematically in regional and local libraries. Reading books will be presented as a fun activity that stimulates the imagination and creativity, helps to find and evaluate one’s own or other people’s actions, understand feelings, and more.

Participants: 39 libraries, 12,285 educational workshops, 11,615 events, 23,900 participating children in 3 counties – Panevėžys, Kaunas and Klaipėda.

Project continuity. The reading challenge game will continue even after the project ends, updating the collections with books and initiating new reading challenges.

Implemented project activities:

  • July 1, 2021 The project “Innovative reading promotion solutions for Lithuanian libraries for the development of social relations of children and youth with the environment” is launched
  • August 20, 2021 Meeting of Lithuanian partners
  • September 2, 2021 Virtual project presentation event “Virtual game or book? Both!”
  • September 9, 2021 Meeting of the Ministry of Culture with the 2014-2021 Winners of cultural projects funded by the European Economic Area (EEA) financial mechanisms
  • November 3, 2021 A study “Identification of reading skills and social relations issues of students of 5-8 grade” was carried out

Executor of the project: Panevėžys County Gabrielė Petkevičaitė-Bitė Public Library

Project partners: Kaunas County Public Library, Klaipėda County Ieva Simonaitytė Public Library, creative studio BLACK BOOK (Norway)

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