RATIONALE OF THE PROJECT
The Lisbon Strategy highlights that people are the most significant European resource. For this reason measures in the field of education and training have to be made in accordance with the national specifics. International collaboration between the constituent countries including participation and realisation of common international projects is a priority.
Literacy is of great importance for any individual so as to take their respected place in the contemporary society. It provides basic conditions for analyzing, thinking and empathy. Literacy is part of human’s wellbeing; it influences personal self-estimation and realization. It is the crucial precondition for one’s success in society.
Some research show that at the time of new digital technologies, which presumably require higher levels of literacy, Europeans from different ages, different social and ethnic groups still have problems with their literacy. According to some national and international studies every one out of five fifteen-year-old youngster does not have the proper reading skills needed for their realization in the contemporary society.
For many people literacy refers to a individual’s ability to read and write - something which has come to be known as “basic literacy.” As the International Council for Adult Education notes, basic literacy is generally understood as: “learning to read and write (text and numbers), reading and writing to learn, and developing these skills and using them effectively for meeting basic needs.”
True literacy encompasses much more than just these basic skills. It includes the ability to analyse things, understand general ideas or terms, use symbols in complex ways, apply theories, and perform other necessary life skills - including the ability to engage in the social and economic life of the community. This broader concept of literacy is called functional literacy.
Unlike basic literacy, with its focus on acquiring skills, functional literacy deals with how people actually use such skills to live and work in society.
The world is rapidly changing. The effects of globalization and free trade, better communication and information technologies, and the rise of societies that use knowledge and information to create wealth, have resulted in a growing demand for highly skilled workers. This global competition for skilled, literate workers explains why literacy has become so important.
More than any other skill, the ability to read is fundamental to successfully navigating the school curriculum. At the beginning of our school life we learn how to read, and then we spend all our life reading in order to learn. There is no other skill more important than reading for developing good academic skills and achieving good academic results. A student who can not read at appropriate for his age and grade level, is not able to completely reveal his/her potential, and the feeling of underachievement and failure could very soon demotivate him/her.
Regardless of the subject matter taught, reading is crucial to success in school. Students need good reading comprehension to understand and learn the material being covered in their various classes.
Moreover, it is central to shaping each individual’s trajectory through life, his or her economic well-being, and the ability to actively and fully participate in broader society. Reading and writing skills are of vital importance for improving people’s lifestyles and their realization.
Literacy is about more than just words and meaning. It is important because it affects peoples’ lives directly from very early age, impacting their academic achievements, their chances of employment, level of income and type of occupation.Literacy skills also affect social status, opportunities for cultural expression, health, the survival of languages, access to social services and opportunities to learn.
Literacy has become an essential part of the fabric of modern societies, a thread that links all aspects of life and living in our contemporary world. Its reach is extensive and complex, influencing how fully and effectively a person is able to engage in the social and economic life of his or her community.
Reading can also play an important role in self-realisation, helping children learn about themselves and their potential. Reading makes students more knowledgeable and autonomous, not just about school subjects but about many topics relevant to everyday life and society more generally. They will encounter new words, phrases, and idioms that will improve vocabulary and language skills, and learning about patterns and connections will increase thinking skills and creativity.
Once one feel they can read they feel more confident and autonomous in their further studies. Once achieving good reading skill students have a larger scope of topics to be explored. Autonomy can be defined as one of the most powerful motivating gears and it is worth working on developing that basic skill. Reading skills can also be developed in several directions which are: reading for the reading itself, reading for gist, reading for detailed information, reading for pleasure, reading as a tool for learning a school subject. When reading practice is derived to a higher level in all these directions, students will be motivated to achieve better results at school and will feel more comfortable to read a book for pleasure and to explore the fictional world with zest. We all agree that reading on the computer or phone screen can not be compared to reading a paperback book. We work on motivating paper book reading as it has more beneficial aspects than reading e-books. We do not criticize the latter but regarding the young age of the learners on scope we assume that it is not healthy for a child to be exposed to screen radiation reading for a long period of time for the sake of their health.
Behavioural problems with teenagers are in the highlight of our society too. We think that young people with high educational standards and training are less likely to show bad behavioural features. Although mainly parents are in charge with children’s good behaviour, school environment and literacy are factors of great significance. Through reading good quality materials young students are taught moral, ethics and values. In addition, some research show that levels of aggression among youngsters in societies constituted of more reading people is lower that of those who read less.
Children’s attitude towards reading is built not only at school, but in the family, so parents’ involvement in the project activities is of great importance. Nowadays it is not so often that parents spend time daily to read to their children, or to read with their children. It is assumed that children from very early age are exposed to different informational resources, and there is not such need children to be read books, if they can watch the same stories on the TV. That’s why parents’ participation in the project will be encouraged as the process children literate begins since the very young age.
Teachers, as main factor in the process of acquiring literacy, play significant role in this very specific initial period of child’s education. Nowadays the number of children who face some difficulties in acquiring reading and writing increases, for some reasons that we will not discuss here. But the reality is that there are few teachers who are prepared/trained to meet the need of specific approach to these children. Most teachers are not able to recognize these signs and to help children to overcome their difficulties. It is obvious that if children have difficulties at this very early stage of development of reading and writing skills, will not be able to achieve good level of functional literacy at later stage, and will not have a chance to reveal their full potential.
It is believed that intellectual growth of individuals is a result of inner and outstanding factors and social processes. The process of building well balanced character and personality which is to share the ideas of the contemporary society lies on the dialogue between people. A very important condition for effective actions towards students’ development is defining students’ interests. Now a large part of the learners think that school is just a place where huge amount of information is delivered. Being well motivated each student can develop interest into school work. It depends mainly on the variety of well-developed effective work forms and their implementation
The project will stimulate and make the learner look for interesting features in the familiar milieu and help them understand the message that the books bring, respectively the knowledge anticipated. It will provide the students with an opportunity to show and develop their skills in supportive collaboration, and the school will become a place to share interests and findings.
Mrs Manola Vaya, Junior High School Korinos- Mrs Tanya Borisova