How can we use language to understand and convey feelings? What is the significance of literacy for the children of the world? What does literacy mean in this day and age? These are questions that are studied in Alluring Literacy, a new free to use learning material for grades 1st-4th that has been created by UNICEF Finland in cooperation with Moomin Characters Ltd. This is the latest initiative in a long-term cooperation between Moomin and UNICEF, a cooperation that was forged already with the Moomin creator Tove Jansson in the 1970s.
The Alluring Literacy learning material was launched in Finnish in April of 2023 and is now available in English and Swedish as well. In the material, the children do exercises where they get to highlight their strengths, practice their emotional skills and develops their storytelling abilities. All these skills are becoming exceedingly important in today’s complicated world. Literacy is a human right, and every child has the right to learn how to read.
”Reading skills are the key to implementing several of the rights of children. Reading skills makes it easier to to learn new things, helps children to find information from several sources and develop their empathic skills”, says Anna Veele, specialist on school partnerships at UNICEF Finland.
The learning material includes free to use exercises and online tools for teaching grades 1st-4th, as well as reading material for teachers and the pupils’ guardians. The content and approach of the exercises, tools and articles support each other and the collaboration between schools and homes. Here you can read more about the learning material and download all the exercises.
Tove Jansson herself cooperated with UNICEF Finland
The co-operation between UNICEF Finland and Moomin Characters goes way back – it started already during Tove Jansson’s lifetime, when she drew the illustrations “Wonder of Christmas” (1971) and “March for Peace” (1981) for UNICEF Finland. In the recent years, the co-operation has focused on enhancing children’s reading and writing skills within the Reading, Writing and the Moomins project. As an example, the “March for Peace” illustration was used as part of the UNICEF Walk, an initiative that encourages Finnish school children to move for children in developing countries.
In 2021-2022, students, sponsors and UNICEF joined efforts to promote children’s schooling in Myanmar, one of the poorest countries in Asia. In the spirit of the illustration, over 190 000 children walked for UNICEF’s work on reading and writing skills! Moomin Characters donated 0,5€ to UNICEF Finland for each pupil who participated in a UNICEF Walk, which amounted to 95 000€ in total.