Estonian Reading Association EstRA
NGO Eesti Lugemisühing Estonian Reading Association (EstRA) was founded in 1992. It was one of the first NGOs established in post-Soviet Estonia. EstRA is an inclusive community of practitioners and scholars, who all share the mission to advance literacy in Estonia. Our members are teachers, reseachers, teacher trainers, speech therapists, etc.
The Dinner on EstRA 30th conference in Tartu with our International partners.
The association's main activities are related to working with kids and youth. The association has brought innovative research-based methodologies to classrooms in kindergartens and schools. Several projects and activities have received international recognition (“Reading Nest”, “Making the Most of the Magic of Reading”, “Reading Games” etc to name a few). Several EstRA members are regarded as opinion leaders in the field of literacy and reading difficulties in Estonia.
Estonian Reading Association has experience in leading projects with multiple partners, often in an international setting. For example, the association has organized several major international conferences:
- in 2003 the 13th European Reading Conference "Reading, Writing, Thinking"
- in 2020 The 4th Baltic Sea Conference on Literacy "Searching for a Common Language"
- in October 2022, the "Reading Difficulty: from Beliefs to Support" conference in cooperation with Tallinn University.
Since 2004 the association has had a dyslexia department and the topic of reading difficulties has been high up on the agenda. During this time, the association has offered training, organized information days and conferences. We have collected, created, and published methodological and didactical materials on the topic of reading difficulties. Every year in October, in conjunction with international dyslexia awareness month, the association organizes dyslexia awareness events.
Most members are practitioners in the field with everyday hands-on experience as they work at schools or post-secondary institutions. Over the years, the Reading Association has authored several guides, handbooks, and study materials. Our handbook of supporting literacy environment is translated into many languages. The idea of Reading Nests is spreading. Lately we shared the ideas of Reading Nests in Estonia, Latvia and Finland on the 5th Baltic Sea LiteracyConference.
EstRA also offers training to teachers. Currently, the Association is commissioned by the Estonian Ministry of Education to create a remediation program for students with dyslexia which will be completed in the second half of 2023.
Starting from its formation, the association has been an active member of the International Literacy Association (https://www.literacyworldwide.org/) and the Federation of European Literacy Associations (FELA)