Adarna Publishing House also in the running
According to the consulate general of Sweden here, the award administered by the Swedish Arts Council gives away every year five million krona (about Є480,000) to authors, illustrators, storytellers, and promoters of reading.
The prize aims to increase and strengthen interest in children and young adult literature worldwide. The winner will be announced on March 24.
Gamos is an illustrator of the "The Best of Lola Basyang" by Severino Reyes, which bagged the Gintong Aklat Award for Children's Literature and won the National Book Award for Best Anthology. He has received various international awards for his work.
Adarna House meanwhile has been nominated for its literacy project, Bright Minds Read (BMR), which it launched in 2003 together with the Ronald McDonald House of Charities and the Philippine Department of Education.
Adarna’s literacy project was a response to a study conducted among public school students showing that after completing first grade, 40 percent of students were still nonreaders.
Together with top educators from the University of the Philippines, 32 picture books were published and a campaign to teach teachers how to use BMR materials was done.
In the first year, the ratio of Grade 1 nonreaders dramatically dropped from 40 percent to four percent.
To date, BMR has covered 2,000 schools.
“By 2009 the pilot students will be graduating from grade school with not only a love of learning but with a passion for reading,” the consulate said.
Adarna House has also partnered with Reach Out and Read-Philippines (ROR-P) to promote early literacy and a love for books.
The first bilingual (Filipino-English) board books will be provided to pediatric patients below two years old.
Last October 22, Adarna House and ROR-P opened the Adarna House Reading Corner in the activity center of Philippine Children’s Medical Center. The Philippines is one of the first few countries outside of the United States that has implemented ROR.
Previous recipients of the prize have been candidates from the United States, Austria, Brazil, Japan, Venezuela, and Australia, among others.