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The Literacy Movement

Literacy Movement promotes the literacy and multiliteracy of Finnish children and youth

The Literacy Movement is an ongoing governmental programme aimed at promoting the literacy of Finnish residents, especially children and young people. The Literacy Movement aims to expand the concept of literacy and to bring forward the importance of both multiliteracy and multilingualism.

Learn more about the Literacy Movement and its activities on this page. Download the brochure and logos of the Literacy Movement at the bottom of the page. The bottom of the page also includes a literacy-related glossary.

Why and how was the Literacy Movement created?

Since the beginning of this millennium, Finland has held a top position in international literacy surveys, and the high performance of young Finns has set them apart from other student groups. However, poor literacy skills have become more common and the number of highly skilled readers has decreased. The literacy level of those under the age of 25 has dropped in a little over a decade.

The Literacy Movement started out in 2017 when the Ministry of Education and Culture invited a group of literacy professionals to establish a National Literacy Forum. The aim was to explore the means of responding to the diminishing literacy among Finnish children and youth. The forum proposed a Literacy Movement with four guidelines:

  • inspiring children and young people to read
  • encouraging communities to support literacy
  • promoting the competence and cooperation of professionals; and
  • creating structures that promote reading.

The appointment of a coordinator for the Literacy Movement and placing the movement under the authority of the Finnish National Agency for Education meant that the guidelines could be implemented as of the beginning of 2019. In fact, the Literacy Movement is recorded in section 3.7.1 “Youth, culture and sport” of the 2019 government programme. The Literacy Movement is supervised by a monitoring group chaired by author Juha Itkonen.

The movement was launched with the Literacy Movement at Schools campaign, featuring fun reading projects, workshops and author visits at about 200 schools across Finland. The campaign also produced its own content to support reading. The content is available in our databank <link>. Find the detailed final report on the Literacy Movement at Schools campaign at the end of this page.

The Literacy Movement tours Finland attending various expos, events and training sessions to discuss literacy. In the spring of 2020, the movement plans to launch its Literacy Movement at Schools and Reading Community programmes to better integrate reading with the school curricula and promote the training of professionals at a municipal level. More information will be released on the launch of these programmes in our articles section <link>.

The Literacy Movement operates nationwide in Finnish and Swedish (Läsrörelsen).

What is the message of the Literacy Movement?

The Literacy Movement emphasises diverse literacy not limited to a specific text type. New types of technology are changing our everyday life, work and, inevitably, our reading habits. The concept of literacy has expanded, and multiliteracy is the major topic of the day. It includes interpreting and evaluating the content of the text and empathising with the themes. Multiliteracy also includes the skill to create various types of text. It involves the ability to absorb and convey information, identify emotions and understand the use of language and contexts.

Diverse literacy forms the basis for all learning. Literacy enables people to become self-aware, find their strengths and develop their creativity and social skills. It is a basic requirement for personal development and active participation in society. Literacy is a superpower of the mind.

This website was designed for reading enthusiasts and professionals of literacy. The site contains information and activities related to reading and tools for inspiring yourself and others to read. Enjoy your literacy!

Partners of the Literacy Movement

Final report on the Literacy Movement at Schools campaign

Download the Literacy Movement brochure and logos