This week we asked representatives from two public schools working with our laureates to write a few lines about their work:
Two public schools in Stockholm, -Hjulsta Elementary School and Östra Real High School – have started a project on the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, ALMA. The website www.världensalma.se is our forum for presenting the wide variety of ideas, goals and achievements we have.
Both schools constantly focus on language and literacy which this spring semester revolves mainly around ALMA. We study Astrid Lindgren and her authorship as well as the ALMA laureates. Students and mentors read, discuss and write together, inspired by the brilliant authors and illustrators.
Is it possible for young children, adolescents and even adults to benefit from exploring the same books? We believe so, especially when a book is filled with so much beauty and various meanings as for example Shaun Tan´s ”The Red Tree”, one of many books chosen in different grades. At an evening occasion some of the staff at Hjulsta Elementary School gathered to interpret Kitty Crowthers works which resulted in quite vivid discussions. Pupils of all ages are thrilled with Isol´s ”It´s useful to have a duck”, spurring them to create similar books of their own.
All around Sweden there is an ongoing and intense progress of developing education in reading comprehension at all levels in the school system. Many are disappointed by the poor results in international surveys. Swedish students have not achieved as well as in previous years. Teachers from primary schools through university confirm decreasing abilities in literacy.
Besides supplementary training as well as teaching, many mentors participate in discussing and sharing ideas online. We hope that our project on the ALMA prize , published on our website, can be a part of the movement in improving the education tutoring required by Swedish students. By choosing and using ALMA literature we see a possibility to spread the word of these literary riches to other schools. We find the laureates somewhat neglected , not earning the attention they deserve, despite being awarded the world´s second largest literature prize.
Hopefully, our first year with the ALMA project is nothing but a first step towards a new tradition!
Cilla Dalén and Ulrika Lindmarker, Hjulsta grundskola
Katarina Lycken Rüter, Östra Reals gymnasium