More than 3,500 books found their way to bright young readers in the fourth edition of the national campaign “Old Paper for New Book” in Sofia.
For the fourth consecutive year, the special “Old Paper for New Book” children’s event took place in Sofia on 11th of September in front of the Greenwich Book Center on 37, Vitosha Blvd. The campaign was carried out under the patronage of Mayor Yordanka Fandukova as part of Sofia Municipality Cultural Events Calendar for 2016. On the eve of the first day of the new school year, 3,150 children and their parents took an active part in the event under the motto “Clean Up and Read Up” and collected 16.2 t of paper for recycling. Visitors and residents of the capital showed their support and responsibility for the preservation of the environment, as well as their love for books and reading.
The patron of the event in Sofia, Ms. Yordanka Fandukova, Mayor of Sofia Municipality, thanked all the parents who are raising their children to be environmentally aware and responsible, and who are encouraging them to read books: “Old Paper for New Book supports the efforts to protect the environment and this is essentially what Green Sofia is all about. And in order to take good care of nature, a person must be educated. The people who read are free and so it is only through reading and education that we can all be free,” said Mayor Fandukova.
The organizers of the event – ECOPACK Bulgaria Executive Director Todor Bourgoudjiev and Viktoria Biserova from Greenwich Book Center –wished the children a good time and expressed their hope they would find out more about preserving the environment and would learn many new and interesting things from the books they had chosen for themselves.
Throughout the day, entertainment was provided by the actors from The Fairy Tale Theater Sofia with their eco-themed puppet show about three cute paper-, plastic- and glass-eating characters living in a park. There were fun literature and environmentalquiz games to test the knowledge of both children and parents. The kids who answered correctly the questions about Roald Dahl and his book, The BFG, were rewarded with gala premiere invitations for the movie The Big Friendly Giant. The screening will take place on September 13th in honor of the 100 year anniversary of the British author’s birth.
Music, dances, games, and interesting challenges, as well as an eco crafts workshop for the making of jewelry and souvenirs out of waste materials, all got the children more engaged with the protection of the environment. Also on the program were young people from Maria’s World Foundation who showed the kids how to make paper garlands, butterflies, and flowers.
The festive program included performances by the children’s and teen singing and dancing groups Vrabcheta, with the Sofia Child Development Center,and the lead singers from the Smehorancheta vocal group. The young talents from the DIVA Dance School performed a special book-themed dance show that delighted the audience.
The children’s web portal Az-deteto.bgand the Fun Reading Project awarded the winners in the creative writing competition “Write you own ending to a children’s story”, which was part of the Fun Reading campaign. This year, the children were challenged to imagine a new ending to one of four emblematic stories – Pippi Longstocking, The Little Prince, Puss in Boots, or The Little Match Girl.
The initiators of the event were ECOPACK Bulgaria and Greenwich Book Center. Event partners included Enthusiast Publishing House, The Fun Reading, and BS Films, while NOVA TV, ploshtadslaveikov.com, clubz.bg, dnes.bg, az-deteto.bg, azcheta.com were the official media partners.
The event was also made possible thanks to the contributions from the publishing houses Hermes, Bard, Knigomania, Fyut, Egmont, Trud, Damyan Yakov, Siela, Softpress, PAN, Zlatnoto Pate, which provided free books to reward all the young fans of recycling. Albo Group, partners of Greenwich Book enter, made sure there were lots of gifts for the bright young participants in the quiz games.
The very first “Old Paper for New Book” campaign was launched on September 15th in 2013. The event organizers and partners were brought together by the shared idea that it is important for every child to learn from a very early age to care for nature and to recycle, as well as to have a special appreciation for books and reading. More than 9,300 children took part in the three editions of 2013, 2014, and 2015. The kids, together with their parents, handed over for recycling more than 50 tons of paper and were presented with more than 10,000 books. Thus we have all helped save 657 trees from felling.
In 2015 the initiative was taken to a national scale with the inclusion of Russe and Plovdiv in the campaign, and in 2016, the residents of Sofia, Haskovo, Varna, and Russe have the opportunity to motivate their children to act responsibly to the environment and to cultivate their love of books and reading.
The funds raised from the collected paper in Sofia and the other three cities in the campaign will go towards the publishing costs ofthe special “You Can Save the Planet” edition, provided in advance by ECOPACK Bulgaria.