‘Read – Any Time, Any Place!’ is the chosen slogan for the sixth edition of the National Readathon, launched today by The Malta Trust Foundation (TMTF) and the National Literacy Agency (NLA), with the support of The Malta Public Transport. During the official launch, TMTF and NLA unveiled the official Readathon mascot ‘Ben il-Ballottra’ – the adventurous, witty weasel who loves to read.
The purpose of this initiative is to foster a love of reading in children with different abilities and empower and encourage them to reach their potential. Funds for this project are raised by school children as well as the corporate partners of the Malta Trust Foundation in aid of the purchase of tailor-made, augmentative communication devices to assist the education of children who are non-verbal and on the autism spectrum and assistive devices for children with visual impairments to help them to read and follow the educational curriculum.
To celebrate our collaboration with Malta Public Transport, this year’s launch kicked off with a reading celebration on the Readathon Bus. Year 6 pupils attending St Venera Primary School, St Theresa College had the exciting opportunity to meet Hon. Minister Clifton Grima, Her Excellency Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, the Hon. Minister Grima, and Reading Ambassadors Carmel Busuttil, Saviour Darmanin, Keith Demicoli, Taryn Mamo Cefai, and Nicole Vella.
This year, the National Literacy Agency and The Malta Trust Foundation are encouraging all schools to organize a ‘Drop Everything and Read!’ reading celebration during the third scholastic term. On the day, pupils will be asked to bring their favourite book or a book they are currently reading. The school may also encourage pupils to dress up as their favorite character from a story or book and organize activities that promote the pleasure of reading. ‘Ben il-Ballotra’ along with H. E. Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca and the Reading Ambassadors, will be participating in these activities.
The Malta Trust Foundation and the National Literacy Agency would like to take this opportunity to encourage all State, Church, and Independent Schools to participate and join this year’s sixth edition of the National Readathon. Further details are available to all schools via the letter circular DLAP 040/2023 issued by the Agency.
The Minister for Education, Sport, Youth, Research and Innovation Clifton Grima spoke about the importance of reading as part of students’ everyday life, as well as the importance that from a young age children learn how to take care of those around them.
“This is an event with an important meaning, because through it we continue to nurture the love for reading in children, while also emphasizing the importance of caring about those around us,” said Minister Clifton Grima. He also added that “it is our main mission as a government to see that all forms of education reach everyone, and reading is an important part of this education. This is one of my top priorities as the Minister responsible for our children’s education.”
The Chairperson of The Malta Trust Foundation, H.E. Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca spoke about the importance that children learn how to appreciate the value of reading while taking part in initiatives that help other children like them who are in need. She explained that reading is an important tool that helps children to continue growing and learning, not only academically but also in their ways of expressing themselves and how to communicate. On the other hand, she said that it is important for children to learn when they are young to be responsible and think about how they can care for their friends who might be in need.