The Malta Independent 25 October 2020, Sunday

A country that appreciates books is a country with a soul - President

Wednesday, 7 February 2018, 07:52 Last update: about 4 years ago

President of Malta Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca visited the Sofia City Library as part of the programme set out for her state visit to Bulgaria. On a regular basis, the Sofia City Library joins forces with the Maltese National Literacy Agency for various educational programmes and initiatives.

Addressing both the children and adults present, President Coleiro Preca said that a country that appreciates books is a country with a soul, as books are important for our development. She also said that it also means that the country is looking positively at the sustainable development of its young people.

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The President also expressed her satisfaction regarding the ongoing collaboration between the Sofia City Library and the Maltese National Literacy Agency, adding that it is even more encouraging to note that discussions have continued even during this state visit, where new areas of collaboration have been explored.

President Coleiro Preca also spoke about the importance of connecting countries through literacy, as this would mean that countries would be working together on literacy and diplomacy, thus developing people-to-people contact. The President said relations between countries should not stop at a political level, but need to be worked on by means of a bottom-up approach, and continued by saying that the collaboration between the Sofia City Library and the Maltese National Literacy Agency bears witness to this.

President Coleiro Preca presented copies of the books entitled ‘Samuel and the Magic Tooth’ and ‘Juliet discovers wellbeing in the President’s Secret Garden’ to all the children present, and to the Sofia City Library.

The Sofia City Library and the Maltese National Literacy Agency share expertise in popular story-telling sessions for children and family literacy programmes. Both entities organise book presentations and shared book-reading sessions for fun.  A common programme is the The Magic of Fairy tales / Seħer l-Istejjer programme, whereby children are invited to exercise their imagination through the reading of a fairy tale. Opportunities for related creative games, drawing, songs, music, and drama are also created. 

Both entities are also sharing ways of encouraging young adolescents and teenagers to read more, through summer book clubs for both Maltese and Bulgarian children.  The National Literacy Agency is also sharing expertise and staff training about parent participation, as well as community and family literacy programmes with the Sofia City Library.

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