Read Hour spreads the joy of reading on September 8th – almost 60,000 children and young people are participating in Finland

This autumn, the fifth edition of Read Hour will be celebrated from September 4th to 8th. A week filled with the joy of reading culminates in Read Hour on Friday, September 8th. Read Hour provides materials, inspiration, and reading tips for children and young people of different ages, teachers and educators, libraries, employers, and individuals.

Read Hour encourages children and young people to read by offering reading tips and joyful moments with stories. Instead of the usual discussions about the benefits and concerns of the decreased level of literacy, Read Hour wants to highlight the joy of reading.

“For example, we know that among all hobbies, reading is the only one clearly connected to the student’s competence, and the parents’ level of education affects the reading habits of children and young people. However, we do not increase reading by emphasizing such concerns; instead, we should offer all children and young people more opportunities to find the joy of reading,” says Heidi Enbacka, program manager for Read Hour.

Read Hour offers materials that increase reading joy for early childhood education, primary school, homes, and libraries. By the end of August, over 800 kindergartens and 150 schools have pre-registered to participate in Read Hour in Finland. This means that almost 60,000 preschoolers and schoolchildren across Finland will celebrate Read Hour. Registrations have come from almost 200 different locations throughout the country.

Materials for early childhood education and schools

Read Hour offers an language adventure for early childhood education and children aged 3-6. The materials are provided in Finnish, Swedish and three Sámi languages spoken in Finland: Northern Sami, Skolt Sami, and Inari Sami. Everybody can have a look at the animation to get an introduction to these languages.

In primary school reading and emotions are discussed using Tove Jansson’s story “The Tale of the Invisible Child.” The materials are also provided in English.

Videos for secondary school students provide reading tips and encourage finding new reading material. The videos are provided in Finnish and Swedish.

Ideas for organizations and workplaces

The joy of reading starts with example! Make Read Hour part of the workday and get inspired to continue reading in your free time as well. You can share campaign materials in your channels or even organize a reading challenge – for every hour of reading by employees, the company can donate a self-selected amount to The  Children and Youth Foundation.

Let’s read together on September 8th

Everyone can participate in Read Hour by reading for an hour and spreading the joy of reading! This year, we especially encourage reading children’s and young adult literature.

Share and follow the atmosphere on social media with the hashtag #ReadHour. For example, you can contemplate how to express your favorite book using emojis. What happy reading memories do you have from your childhood or youth?

Read Hour from Finland spreading the joy of reading abroad

Read Hour is organized by The Children and Youth Foundation in Finland. The main partners in Finland for 2023 are Moomin Characters and Otava.

Read Hour is not only celebrated in Finland but also in Sweden, Norway, Estonia, the United Kingdom, and this year, for the first time, in Denmark.

More information:

Heidi Enbacka

The Children and Youth Foundation

Have a look at all the campaign materials for United Kingdom.