epa04687495 The ALMA President Boel Westin speaks during a news conference at the Stockholm Royal Library, in Stockholm, Sweden, 31 March 2015. The South African alternative education project PRAESA has been awarded this year's Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for children's literature for their innovative ways of encouraging reading and literature among children and youth. EPA/FREDRIK SANDBERG / TT SWEDEN OUT
epa04687495 The ALMA President Boel Westin speaks during a news conference at the Stockholm Royal Library, in Stockholm, Sweden, 31 March 2015. The South African alternative education project PRAESA has been awarded this year's Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for children's literature for their innovative ways of encouraging reading and literature among children and youth. EPA/FREDRIK SANDBERG / TT SWEDEN OUT

SA organisation wins R6m literature prize

By Reuters Time of article published Apr 2, 2015

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STOCKHOLM: A South African organisation promoting reading among children and young people has won the world’s biggest prize for children’s literature, the jury for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award said.

The jury praised the Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa (Praesa) for its “innovative reading and storytelling projects” such as books in local languages and reading clubs in vulnerable communities.

“For more than 20 years, Praesa has made powerful, innovative moves to highlight literature as a key component of both personal and societal development, always grounded in the specific conditions of South African society and culture.

“Its work focuses on encouraging children to read for enjoyment, building their self-esteem, and helping them connect to their native language through reading and story,” the jury said.

The jury cited Praesa’s aim to provide literature in South Africa’s languages as well as activities to promote reading in poorer communities through projects like reading clubs that combine singing, dramatisations and dancing.

The 5 million Swedish crown (R6 926 397) award was founded more than 10 years ago by the Swedish government to honour Lindgren, who was known worldwide for her Pippi Longstocking children’s books. – Reuters

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