PRAESA was awarded the IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award in 2014 in Mexico City, Mexico. Initiated by the International Board on Books for Young People and sponsored by Japanese newspaper company the Asahi Shimbun, the award is presented biennially to two groups or institutions whose activities promote reading among children and young people. PRAESA was nominated for the award by IBBY Sweden for its work in children’s multilingual literacy development.
In her acceptance speech at the Papalote Children’s Museum in Mexico City, PRAESA director Carole Bloch said:
“The following core principles have guided us over the years: Firstly, the same kind of enriched and inspiring conditions that encourage English-speaking children to become engaged readers and writers are the same ones that African-language speakers need. This should be self-evident, but it isn’t. In our work we are countering the low level expectations of the education system for millions of bright young African-language speakers as they enter and progress through primary school. Secondly, nurturing a love of stories offers us all enjoyable inroads lifelong learning journeys. The hegemonic pressure of schooling to deliver measurable skills, however, has led to a loss of appreciation for the deep educational value of stories. We are reviving the value of narrative as an essential part of not just education but also community and home settings.”