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Action with Lao Children Receives IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award for Publishing 670,000 Books for Lao Children to Read in Their Own Language
For 26 years, the nonprofit organization Action with Lao Children (ALC) has been making quiet yet steady efforts to support the improvement of the educational environment for Lao children. In Laos, where oral culture has traditionally been strong and reading has not been a common custom until recently, learning letters has been very difficult for many people and children. The country had almost no domestic publishers that made books in their own language. Until today, ALC has helped publishing about 670,000 Lao books for children and has donated 3,000 books to local schools. The organization has also founded the Children Culture Centre at 20 locations to promote reading practices among Lao children and to provide them with a place to which they can belong. This year, the ALC's activities have been recognized by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), honoring the organization with the IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award. The Award recognized the organization's efforts which emphasize the publishing of books in Lao instead of French, one of the dominating languages due to the country's long history of being controlled by France. The Award also acknowledged that the organization, in order to improve the country's educational environment, has also been helping school teachers learn how to read to children.

A teacher helping Lao children to read Children with a happy look reading
a picture book
Awarding ceremony in Denmark (September, 2008)

[Related Link]
"Action with Lao Children" information in English
http://homepage2.nifty.com/aspbtokyo/index.htm

About IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award
Once in every two years, the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) selects and recognizes two international organizations, which are outstanding in making continuous contributions to the promotion of reading skills and customs among children and young people of developing countries. For the year 2008, Editions Bakame from Rwanda also received the award along with ALC.
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