Finland, Norway, Iceland, Denmark and Sweden have the highest literacy rates in the world. It is no surprise that book culture is celebrated in these countries and there is less focus on compulsory education and more focus on play, reading and family time.
Why Finland Ranks Number 1 for Literacy?
- They place a high value on reading.
- They focus in the preschool years on having children tell stories and hear stories.
- Most homes subscribe to a newspaper.
- They have one of the best library systems in the world.
How are Their Numbers Different?
- 77 % of the population buys at least one book a year.
- 75% of parents read aloud to kids every day.
- Writing is one of the most respected professions.
How Much Do They Read?
- There are 20 million books sold every year in the country which is an average of 4 books a person (including kids) in a country of 5.5 million people.
- 1 in every 6 people between the ages of 15-79 buys at least 10 books a year
- Book gifts are huge and about half of books purchased as gifts are given to family.
- There is at least one library in every municipality, 300 central libraries, 500 branch libraries, mobile libraries and one library boat.
- 40% of citizens are active patrons visiting a library at least twice a month.
- Each book is read about 2.5 times a year and there are about 7 books for ever Finn in the libraries.
What Can We Learn?
Creating a culture of readers starts at home. If mothers and fathers read and make it a priority, kids will read. If the US focused less on outcomes and more on creating storytellers and story hearers, our school success rate would improve. Making books a priority in schools, communities and as gifts, promote a culture of literacy and reading.
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What is one step you will do today to create a culture of reading in your family? What can we do to promote reading in our communities? Comment below!