For the third time, the Children and Youth Foundation’s Read Hour Literacy Campaign challenges everyone in Finland to read for an hour on 8 September, the UN International Literacy Day. This year, the campaign will also take place in Sweden, Estonia and the United Kingdom.

Through books, new worlds are opened up to us. We may become acquainted with different cultures and ways of thinking. Moreover, literature shows that people around the world are ultimately rather similar. There are many things that connect us.

Reading can also be communal experience. While we often think that reading happens alone, it can also be done together with others. The reading experience can be shared with a friend or in a group. The same book evokes as many experiences as there are readers.

I encourage everyone to join the Read Hour campaign and read for an hour on 8 September. Let’s take a break and enjoy good books together!

Sauli Niinistö
President of the Republic of Finland Patron of the Read Hour Literacy Campaign 2021

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