60 YEARS OF THE READING BADGE
The Reading Badge movement was founded in the 1960/61 school year by Stanko Kotnik (a teacher of Slovene) and Leopold Suhodolčan (a writer) at the primary school in Prevalje, in the Koroška region, as a way to encourage reading. It was originally conceived as a competition for “Prežihov’s Reading Badge”. In subsequent years, the reading badge initiative spread throughout Slovenia and among all generations. Prežihov’s Reading Badges were joined by a whole range of others named after Slovene writers. The Association of Friends of Youth of Slovenia formed a Reading Badges Association and in the early 1990s the movement gained the slogan “With a book into the world” and a mascot – Pinocchio.
Today the various annual initiatives of the Reading Badge movement connect together around 140,000 readers of various generations, who are supported in their reading by teachers, librarians, authors, publishers and so on. The movement is also active outside the borders of Slovenia and in recognition of its role in national culture has been entered in the register of intangible cultural heritage of Slovenia. The aim of the Reading Badge is to support the lifelong development of reading culture and literacy.
Since 2002, the Reading Badge movement has been led and organised at the national level by the Reading Badge of Slovenia Society, which is a member organisation of the Association of Friends of Youth of Slovenia.
Internationally, it is a member of the Slovene section of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) and of the Federation of European Literary Associations (FELA).
In 2011, the year of its 50th anniversary, the Reading Badge movement was awarded the gold order of merit of the Republic of Slovenia.
Reading Badge of Slovenia Society