The Association Reading Badge of Slovenia – ZPMS presented this year’s book from the collection Zlata bralka, zlati bralec, which celebrates its twentieth anniversary this year, in the National Gallery.
All ninth graders who have read for the reading badge throughout elementary school will be given a work Tina Bilban How to understand the world: 50 abstract inventions with illustrations Ivan Mitrevsky.
As she said in the introduction Manca Perko from the professional service of the reading badge association, the first books from the Zlata bralka, zlati bralec collection were awarded to ninth graders in the 2003/2004 school year, which means that the association donated 340,500 books to 20 generations of young readers.
Vice-president of the association Slavko Pregl described the project as the largest book donation in the history of Slovenia, at which he thanked Telekom, which has financially supported the project since the beginning. Writer Tone Partljič, who was president of the reading badge for two terms, remembered the beginnings of the project, when he and Pregl went to ask Telekom’s management for funds. As he joked, despite the very high donation, he and Pregl almost managed to convince the company to thank them for participating in such an important project of youth reading culture.
Pregl emphasized the special feature of the project: that the donated books “you can’t just buy it, you have to earn it by reading it”. He explained that it is a special edition of an already awarded book, for which the association arranges an additional printing in cooperation with the Public Agency for the Book of the Republic of Slovenia.
This year’s book was originally published in 2017 by the publishing house Miš. She received the golden pear sign and recognition for design at the Slovenian Book Fair, she recalled Darka Tancer-Kajnih, who led the conversation with the authors of the work. When asked what makes a good educational book, Tina Bilban said yes “one who informs, opens up horizons and questions and also appeals with aesthetic elements”.
When asked what it was like to draw abstract concepts, the illustrator Mitrevski, who, like the author, is also a philosopher by education, replied that the most difficult thing was to depict nothing, but otherwise, with his illustrations, he wants to equip young readers with knowledge, “which will come in handy in the future, which no one knows what it will be”.
There are around 140,000 young readers for the reading badgeAmong the speakers at the presentation of the jubilee collection was, among others, Tjaša Urankar, employed at JAK in the area of reading culture, who emphasized the importance of an independent area within the agency for reading culture, which, according to the latest research among young people, is not exactly the highest, but these projects give hope that young people are still reading. According to Mance Perko, this is confirmed by the numbers: there are around 140,000 young readers with a reading badge, and as many as 7,000 current mentors in primary schools alone.
The closing event Zlata bralka, zlati bralec will be held on May 30 in the Gallus hall of Cankarjev dom. The event, which will honor golden readers and readers who are completing the elementary school journey, will be led by Boštjan Gorenc – Pajamasthey wrote in the Bralna bádzka association.