The Finnish Reading Center

The Finnish Reading Center is a well established NGO, which promotes reading, literacy and literature.
Photo: © Marko Simonen/Mediapool

The Finnish Reading Center is a well established NGO, which promotes reading, literacy and literature. It arranges author visits, produces materials, information, reports and services and expertise for schools, libraries, the general public, media and policy makers.

The Finnish Reading Center is also responsible for major national reading campaigns such as Bookstart Finland, Reading movement in schools. IT works with close co-operation with schools, libraries, government, privat companies and other organisations. It is also an active member of European reading and literacy networks, such as EURead and ELINET.

One of our key functions is to arrange author visits to schools, nursery schools, libraries and other institutions. Currently, we are the only institution in Finland systematically organising these visits. The aim of the author visits is to promote reading motivation of children and youth.

The Role of the Reading Centre is to promote literacy and support reading for pleasure, serve as an expert in the fields of reading and literacy and provide services for other actors working in the field of reading and literacy.

The Finnish Reading Center publishes two online magazines. Lukufiilis is written by young people to young people. is a literary criticism media.

We are funded by the government (Ministry of Education and Culture), together with several Finnish charitable foundations.

Book bag to every baby born in 2019-21

Book bag to every baby born in 2019-21
Book bag to every baby born in 2019-21

In 2018 Lukukeskus created a concept for a national book bag -program. The idea was to provide equal opportunities for early reading for every family in Finland. The Finnish Cultural Foundation also interested in early reading and provided funding for the program. Also Finnish government provided additional funds for the information materials.

In 2019 The Finnish Reading Center published new books for the program, one for the babies and one with bedtime stories. Books were written by the prominent Finnish childrens authors and illustrated by experienced illustrators.

Even health care and child development specialists were consulted in order to provide books suitable for target age: babies and toddlers. Also guides and leaflets were produced to give parents the information on the importance of reading to a child.

Finland still ranks number one as the most literate country in the world. Children and adolescents excel in PISA (2018 4th) and PIRLS (2016 5th) but attitudes towards reading are changing: motivation and enthusiasm expressed by children and adolescents is one of the lowest in the world.

Words Matter – Workshops for vocational students

Photo: © Marko Simonen/Mediapool
Photo: © Marko Simonen/Mediapool

One of our literacy and reading campaigns encourages vocational school students to read. Sanat haltuun (‘Words matter!’) campaign is funded by UPM and implemented by the Finnish Reading Centre. The aim of the campaign is to find hands-on solutions to support literacy among vocational students. The methods vary from workshops to author visits.

Fluency in reading, the ability to find essential information as well as the skill to evaluate the information critically are important in all occupational groups. The campaign targets especially tech sector students, the majority of whom are male. As number of boys and young men do not find reading motivating, the aim of the project is to introduce new ways of reading and to boost reading enthusiasm. Bringing up the benefits of fluent literacy is one of the key targets. Lifelong learning is part of working life, and can be hard for those, who struggle with reading.

Improving reading skills helps the students in their professional development.