The program, called “Born to read”, is implemented by the Culture and Media Ministry in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and with the support of the Croatian Pediatric Society and the Croatian Society of Preventive and Social Pediatrics.
Speaking at a training course for pediatricians in Slavonski Brod, Obuljen Koržinek said she expected the program to encourage parents to read to their children.
The program is part of the national strategy for the promotion of reading, adopted in 2017, and it was presented at the end of the Year of Reading.
The minister said that the implementation of the program would start in 2022 and that it involved pediatricians who would work on raising parents’ awareness of the need to start reading to their children as early as six months of age as a way of strengthening the child’s competencies.
Research shows that reading to children helps develop their intelligence, cognitive abilities, and generally their literacy. In Croatia, only one-third of parents are aware of the importance of reading to children and the percentage of parents who actually read to their children is even lower, the minister said, expressing hope the project would help raise awareness among parents about the benefits of reading to children.
The minister noted that a program of this kind had been underway in Italy for some 20 years and that it had yielded the desired positive changes.
Throughout next year education courses will be held for pediatricians about the importance of encouraging reading to children.
The idea to launch the program came from Dr. Marija Radonić.
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