YOUNG READERS FOUNDATIONWhy it matters to you
The example below has frightened us and was the reason to start a more thorough investigation. The result proved the need to reverse this trend.
THE INFLUENCE OF READING
Young people are our future.
Everything they do will have an effect on our society. And that is why they bear a big responsibility. They will have to pursue and maintain peace, they will have to trade in an equitable manner, must make technological progress and take care of the elderly and the sick. Isn’t it logical then that we ensure that they are given every opportunity to develop themselves and that they are ready to carry out these tasks properly?
“When I am on social media, I’m reading too. So what?”Reaction on a street interview in the USA
TIME TO TAKE ACTION
The “Young Readers Foundation” wants to change this. This organization has the ambitious plan to get as many young people in the world as possible to read, and thereby, ensure that they can improve the future of their community in a dignified way. We want to work together with authors, publishers and schools to turn the tide.
A very effective way to achieve this is to let them read more books. There are more than 20 good reasons why reading is important. You can read about all benefits on another page at this site.
Although we know the positive effects of reading, not all young people have the opportunity to read, or are interested in it. You may think of places in Africa or war zones in the Middle East. Yes, of course there too, but you should not look that far. On the one hand, you have the small language areas where book publishing is unprofitable, as a result of which young people have a hard time finding books to read and therefore, can’t develop themselves enough to meet the challenges of the future. But kids in larger language areas are not safe either. There is the sometimes-addictive activity on social media that prevents young people to take time to read a good book and benefit from all positive effects of reading.
One-quarter of American children
don’t learn to read!
The average IQ is dropping!Sol Palha
DUTCH LANGUAGEAs an example
In order to give you better insight into the challenges that we’re facing, we would like to give you a specific example:
Where do people speak Dutch
Dutch is an official language in the Netherlands, The Flemish part of Belgium, Surinam, Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten. No less than 24 million people speak Dutch.
Dutch consists of a colorful collection of dialects, street languages, regional languages, group languages and youth languages. Because people sometimes do not understand each other well, the government, media and companies use a neutral colloquial language, General Dutch or Standard Dutch. Everyone can understand this language, because typical features of dialects are avoided as much as possible.
As much as possible, because thinking that there is one kind of Standard Dutch, is an illusion. The Dutch language is constantly changing; it changes because society changes.
DUTCH OR FLEMISH
A nightmare for publishers
Because technological developments made it easier to communicate with people in other regions, an intermediate language was needed. General Dutch is the final result here.
Nevertheless, differences also arose between books created by Dutch and Flemish authors. Flemish is Dutch that is spoken in Flanders (part of Belgium) and has some different vocabulary. Because it is inevitable that authors sometimes use dialect and their own typical phrases, it appears that the Dutch rarely read books from Flemish authors and vice versa. Can you imagine what effects this has in even smaller language areas such as Suriname, Aruba and other overseas areas?
This is a nightmare for publishers. Instead of a single market of 24 million Dutch speakers, publishers in Flanders, with a population of approximately 6.5 million, split up into children, young people and adults, have a much smaller market.
In addition, in 2006 65% of teenagers read a book, ten years later, that was only 40%. With young adults this has even decreased from 87 to 49%. Young people are more concerned with social media than with their mental development by reading a book.
If you compare the market of a few hundred thousand readers with the 325 million inhabitants of the United States, then you realize that publishers in these small language areas have a very difficult time. After all, the costs of printing the book are practically the same as in the United States, but due to the smaller market, the revenues are negligible.
Because young people belong to the group of people in our society who are considered to have no money to spend on books, not many publishers will be willing to provide them books.
SMALL LANGUAGE AREASYou'll find them everywhere
HELPING AUTHORS AND PUBLISHERS
Reach a helping hand
This is just one example of problems that occur in small language areas, but you can find those small language areas everywhere, never far from your place of residence. Besides this: motivating young people to read more needs to be done all over the world.
The Young Readers Foundation was founded with the aim of: offering opportunities to authors in these small language areas, supporting local publishing houses and encouraging young people, all over the world, to read more.
Make sure that young people read and therefore have more chances for a sound education and a bright future. Their future is yours.
Support the Young Readers Foundation and deposit an amount of your choice on their crowd funding page.