360 thousand children’s poetry books to be sent to maternity wards throughout Poland

By mid-2019, 360,000 books with poems for children will be distributed in maternity wards around the country. Pierwsze wiersze dla... (‘First Poems for...’), published by the Polish Book Institute, include the works of Julian Tuwim, Jan Brzechwa, Joanna Papuzińska, and Ludwik Jerzy Korn, to name a few.

At the Book Institute, we realise that reading and the whole reading experience actually begins in the cradle, and therefore we want to encourage parents to read to their children, but also to develop family relationships, for it is reading aloud in the family circle that makes people get closer to each other. We know that it is crucial for parents to build relationships with children. There are numerous ways to do it, and reading is one of them.

- said Katarzyna Kucik, the campaign coordinator, in an interview with PAP (Polish Press Agency).

Dariusz Jaworski, the Polish Book Institute director, emphasised that ‘it is not a one-off action, but a long-term undertaking, planned to continue for many years to come.’

The books First Poems for..., which we have been donating to the youngest children in hospitals since 2017, is the first element of a larger whole. We are currently working on its subsequent stages. It is organic work, in a way, which we want to continue and expand, so that the habit of reading from the earliest years benefit the children in their adult lives

- Jaworski highlighted.

Kucik explained that young parents receive First Poems for… together with a pamphlet depicting the advantages of reading to children at various stages of their lives as a part of a hospital layette. Such a reading package is given to the parents free of charge.

Asked about the number of hospitals that the Institute is cooperating with, she answered, ‘at this moment, there are 360 establishments on our list; however, we want to include in this project all the hospitals that are interested. Of course, we encourage those who have not been given the books yet to contact us.’

As part of the pilot project launched in December 2017, 100 thousand readers’ layettes for the youngest were donated to 360 hospitals.

The ‘Small Book – Great Man’ social campaign reminds us of the benefits resulting from shared, familial reading from the first months of a child’s life. ‘Reading starts from the cradle, long before a child even begins to put the letters together themselves’, emphasised the Institute.

The project is part of the social campaign ‘Small Book – Great Man’ carried out by the Polish Book Institute and endowed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage as part of the National Programme for the Development of Reading.