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Education Worldwide

Promoting Reading in Germany


Study on Reading Aloud 2012

Representative survey - digital media open new opportunities for reading aloud

On 30 October 2012, the representative study Digital reading products – new incentives for reading aloud? conducted by the weekly newspaper DIE ZEIT, Stiftung Lesen and Deutsche Bahn was released in Berlin. The findings were presented by Dr. Jürgen Grube, Chairman and CEO of Deutsche Bahn AG, Moritz Müller-Wirth, deputy editor-in-chief and features editor of DIE ZEIT, Dr. Jörg F. Maas, Managing Director of Stiftung Lesen, and Dr. Simone C. Ehmig, Head of Institute for Research on Reading and Media of Stiftung Lesen. The presentation of the study also comprised the launch of the 9th National Reading Aloud Day that will take place on 16 November 2012.

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My Daddy Reads To Me!

The project Mein Papa liest vor! (My daddy reads to me!) addresses working fathers of children aged from being a baby to twelve years. The project aims to allow the fathers to make a stronger appearance as reading role models, taking up on their responsibility as reading fathers. The initiators Stiftung Lesen thus react upon findings from contemporary studies on reading out aloud, where merely 8 percent of the interviewed children claimed their fathers read to them on a regular basis.

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Books Build Bridges

The project Bücher schlagen Brücken (Books build bridges) brings young and elderly people in the German federal state of North-Rhine Westphalia together. Books serve as a tool to connect young and old, providing an opportunity to spend time together and to talk with each other.

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Magazines Into Schools

What do magazines such as Auto Motor Sport, Geo, Popcorn and Neon have in common? Together with approximately 30 other cutting edge titles, these magazines will invite students in secondary schools all over Germany to browse, right after the Easter holidays!

The project Zeitschriften in die Schulen (Getting magazines into schools) brings together an enjoyment of reading and its promotion. It is now launched for the eighth time, following a joint initiative by Stiftung Presse-Grosso, Stiftung Lesen and the German press wholesalers together with the Verband Deutscher Zeitschriftenverleger (Association of German newspaper publishers).

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Stiftung Lesen Reading Clubs

Stiftung Lesen’s reading clubs aim to support reading competence and language acquisition as well as reading motivation and media competence. Reading clubs are meeting points in schools, libraries and other institutions where children and teenagers can meet in their leisure time to read, play, do handicrafts, to talk or just to ‘escape’ for a while from their everyday school life or their homes.

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The Reading Aloud Club

If someones enjoys reading and reading aloud, love beautiful stories, enjoy dealing with children, would like to share this enthusiasm and pass it on, becoming a volunteer in the Reading Aloud Club might be the right thing.

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The Teacher's Club

The fact that Stiftung Lesen’s school projects have been met with a great response in past years shows that teachers are very important partners in reading support. With the help of unusual and creative projects, committed teachers succeed in filling children and teenagers with enthusiasm for reading and literature.

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Reading Scouts

How do you awake the joy of reading among pupils? That is the job of a special group of distributors - other pupils trained as Reading Scouts - who pass on their joy of reading to others. The project makes use of the ‘Peer Review’, which has much more persuasive powers to children and teenagers of similar age groups, in communication with each other.

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Expert workshop: The future of reading

Expert workshop of the German reading foundation Stifung Lesen in Berlin on 5 and 6 June 2012.

This year’s expert workshop of the Stiftung Lesen which took place in Berlin on 5 and 6 June 2012 focused on the issue of the future of reading.

What does ‘reading’ mean today? Which effects do digitisation and demographic change have on the media and reading socialisation of children and adolescents, and thus also on reading promotion?

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Stiftung Lesen – 25 Years of Reading Promotion in Germany

The German Reading Foundation Stiftung Lesen has been promoting reading for 25 years and is going to celebrate its successful work with a Lesefest, a reading festival, the 10th of June 2013. The Lesefest takes place at Schloss Bellevue in Berlin with the German Bundespräsident Joachim Gauck, many prominent Reading Ambassadors, friends and supporters as well as all those being involved with the foundation's work. However, reading promotion still remains important and crucial in Germany's modern society.

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Logo von Lesen in Deutschland Lesen in Deutschland – a campaign for the promotion of reading competence beyond schools delivered by the federal and state government The joint venture portal acts as an intermediary and promoter of reading and literacy in the community. The service intends to offer an overview and insight. It pools information and edits it for interested parents and grandparents, teachers and professionals in child care, volunteers, librarians and experts. Reports, interviews, news or reportages on reading activities in Germany are published on a weekly basis. Special emphasis is placed on actions and initiatives in the states as „Lesen in Deutschland“ is particularly concerned with announcing and supporting reading in the community. Moreover, the online editors publish reports, interviews, news or reportages on reading in Germany every week. An initial point and motivation is provided by individual portraits of states with a survey of interesting and important projects. Latest developments are published regularly in a newsletter. zum Portal "Lesen in Deutschland"

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Lesestart in Germany – Three Milestones for Reading

Lesestart, the nationwide literacy program for children funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and carried out by Stiftung Lesen, continues for three-year-old children and their parents. The Federal Secretary of Education Prof. Dr. Johanna Wanka herself handed out the second Lesestart pack to toddlers and their parents at the Zentral- und Landesbibliothek Berlin on November 15, 2013.

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Prepare for life! Raising Awareness for Early Literacy Education

During the Leipzig Book Fair, Stiftung Lesen and the Goethe Institute will jointly host an international conference on the topic of promoting early literacy skills from 12th to 14th of march 2013.

The conference is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Practitioners in promoting reading will be brought together from all over the world to exchange their ideas and experiences regarding trends and conditions of success regarding the promotion of early literary skills. A contribution to sustainable global networking of relevant actors is intended.

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Places of Integration – in Germany and Israel

Reading Media Clubs support the acquisition of reading competence

Logo of the ReadingMediaClubs

The Jerusalem Book Fair provided the framework for presenting research findings from the bi-national project “Reading Media Clubs in Germany and Israel”. The main result was that these institutions, providing an interface between school education and leisure time, do not only support children and young people – particularly those from less educated families – with opportunities for acquiring reading competencies; they moreover support integration in a comprehensive way.
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There is a high demand for reading promotion programmes

The Institute for Reading and Media Research of the German Reading Foundation

Dr. Simone C. Ehmig

The Institute for Reading and Media Research at the German Reading Foundation conducts basic and monitoring research in the areas of reading and media use. It collects findings from media studies and most of all, it organises projects in its own right. The online magazine "Bildung + Innovation" talked to Dr. Simone C. Ehmig, who manages the Institute, about its tasks and objectives and about the changes in reading behaviour in recent years.
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Lively exchange between Pozega and Westoverledingen

Serbian and German library forge a “sister libraries” relationship

Children invent flower fairy tales

The IFLA project “Sister Libraries“ was founded in November 2009, in order to inspire international library partnerships and to activate a worldwide exchange of experiences in the field of reading promotion in children’s libraries. Libraries from all over the world have so far joined the project, among them the local library of Westoverledingen in Lower Saxony (Germany) and the children’s library in Pozega (Serbia)
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More Information

Total population
81 147 000

German (official)

Literacy rate
(age 15 or over who can read)

Total: 99%
Male: 99%
Female: 99%

Functional illiteracy
(de facto)

Educational indicators
Primary (net) enrolment: 97%
Secondary (net) enrolment: 91%
Tertiary (gros) enrolment: 77%
School life expectancy: 15.7 years

Government expenditure
10.5% goes to education

Unemployment (age 15-24)

CIA World Fact Book, Human Development Report, UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Wikipedia