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Quotes of the classics

  Drink me! Illustration by John Tenniel, 1865.

So many out-of-the-way things had happened lately, that Alice had begun to think that very few things indeed were really impossible.

Lewis Carroll,

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland


We – the undersigned participants of the Inauguration of the First International Week of Reading to Children, jointly organized on June 1, 2011 in Cieszyn and Cesky Tesin by the “ABCXXI – All of Poland Reads to Kids” and “Every Czech Reads to Kids” Foundations, in cooperation with local authorities and cultural institutions, express our firm belief that the ability and passion to read is an essential condition for the comprehensive development of every human being, enabling a rise in the level of his/her education and competence, full participation in culture, as well as the improvement of the quality of both individual and social life.

Currently in Europe, approximately 20 percent of young people are functional illiterates, which is mostly a consequence of the lack of time devoted to children by parents and the prevalence of the electronic media. We believe that restoring or introducing the habit of reading to children at home and introducing it to all educational and child-caring institutions has become an urgent need if we are to prevent illiteracy and the cultural deprivation of our societies. Thus, we hereby appeal to all people, non-governmental organizations and institutions responsible for the education of the young generation to introduce and support programmes promoting daily reading aloud to children and adolescents,

2 0  m i n u t e s  a d a y . E v e r y d a y !
So that reading is always a joy and never an obligation, punishment or boring experience!

Reading to children positively affects their emotional development and improves their language and thinking ability. It also fosters memory and imagination, improves attention span, deepens knowledge, aids learning, develops moral sensitivity, induces calm, strengthens self-esteem and helps to create intergenerational bonds between children and adults. The habit of reading a book every day is all-too-precious when the lack of time for children is prevalent!

Reading to children builds their rich inner resources and is the best vitamin for their comprehensive psychological, mental and moral development. It is also a vaccine against a variety of mass cultural threats. Reading is the cheapest way to raise a well-educated, cultured, good and happy persons.

Children love reading. It merely depends on us, adults, if we manage to satisfy their natural need and willingness to listen to fairy tales and stories or lose them among the aggression and noise of commercials, computer games,electronic gadgets and the media.

Nobody is born a reader. We can raise a reader only by reading to a child for sheer pleasure. If we read to children, they grow to be readers – people who live wiser, better and even longer. Let’s choose reading to children. Let’s choose a good and happy future for our children and our societies! Let’s read to our children every day – from their infancy to adolescence. Let’s create bonds and develop mental resources for our children. Let’s develop the resources of Europe!

Everyone interested in joining the “All of Europe Reads to Kids” Programme is kindly invited to contact the Foundation “ABCXXI – All of Poland Reads to Kids”: Tel.: + 48 22 648 3891(92); e-mail: and to visit our website

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Project implemented with the financial support of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage Website graphic design: Anita Głowińska; webmaster: Inforpol NET