The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science has approved the joint subsidy application for the reading-promotion programme (The Art of Reading) submitted by the Dutch Reading Foundation and the Netherlands Public Library Association. One million euro has been granted for 2008.
The Art of Reading consists of four parts:
> Libraries, counselling centres and playgroups will do a trial aimed at promoting reading in children aged from zero to four: this trial will be called the Bookstart trial and will be based on the British Bookstart programme.
> Libraries will work with schools to support the Taalbeleid onderwijsachterstanden pilot projects (pilot projects on language policy for the educationally disadvantaged). Schools with a large number of disadvantaged pupils and goods plans for the improvement of their reading level have been selected for this purpose.
> Dutch-language (youth) literature and classic literary works will be used to make the cultural and historical canon of the Van Oostrom committee accessible to the upper years in primary education and pupils in the second stage of secondary education.
> Support for the programme by creating a local and supralocal reading-promotion networks with national coverage.
The explicit object of The Art of Reading is to facilitate reading promotion activities at a local level (funding, materials and promotion), to such an extent that it becomes possible to achieve close alignment with the needs and wishes of the target groups envisaged.
The Art of Reading will be managed jointly by the Netherlands Public Library Association and the Dutch Reading Foundation. The Public Library will have a pivotal function where implementation of the programme is concerned.
This project is run by Stichting Lezen, Netherlands.