A book of fairy tales by children, and for children
In the Czech Republic, Skanska organized a competition for young writers called Bambini Litera. The aim was to engage with the local community by supporting education and contributing to happy home lives for children, adding another dimension to the physical homes we develop and build.
The Bambini Litera – meaning "children's letters" – is a competition for budding writers ages 6 to 12 to create their own fairy tales, with a little guidance from their families. The children were asked to write a story that is somehow connected to home, with one goal of the program to promote family life and time at home spent valuably.
Fostering creativity and family
The children dreamt up fairy tales of all kinds – we received an astounding 336 submissions! The children's stories covered everything from the difficulty of moving to a new place to school happenings.
The 20 best stories were selected by an expert panel headed by Sandra Vebrová, a children's author well-known in Czech. These texts were made into a book written by kids, and for kids. To bring the fairy tales to life, an illustrator created beautiful watercolor illustrations for each of the top tales.
"The writers had great imaginations, so it was quite difficult to choose the 20 winning tales," says Nada Ptackova, CEO of Skanska Residential Development Czech Republic.
To the press
With the fairy tales and illustrations in hand, the next step was to print and bind them into a book. Similar to winning a trip to Wonka's Chocolate Factory, the 20 winning writers and their parents visited the printing facility where the books were being printed. The children experienced how an offset printing press works, and they even got to try their hand at printing illustrations for their own fairy tales.
"We created a fun event for the winning writers and their parents," said Renata Vildomcová, Head of Marketing and Communications for Skanska Residential Development Czech Republic.
Autumn book release
Skanska published 2,000 copies of the book, with proceeds from the sale of the books going to the nonprofit EDA Organization selected by the children. (This group aids and supports children born with visual disabilities, and their families.) We launched the book in September in the garden at our Czech Republic headquarters: it involved a christening ceremony and book signing by all children who sent in fairy tales. Each young writer received their own copy of the book to commemorate the 2016 competition.
Children, parents, grandparents as well as teachers greatly enjoyed the competition. They – and some of our customers too – asked Skanska to organize Bambini Litera 2017. We happily accepted.
It will be another chapter to this story.