Manfred Mai has a very special relationship with the elementary school in his home community. Now this has a reading room, which carries the Winterlingen children’s and youth book author.
Winterlingen – Manfred Mai has always wanted to get children and young people interested in reading. Therefore, in 2019, Mai launched a book prize for new children’s books, endowed with 2,500 euros. The jury, which also included some students from the elementary school in Winterlingen, awarded the prize to the Hamburg author Katja Reider for her book “Cool in 10 Days”.
Due to the corona pandemic, the award ceremony had to be postponed again and again: those involved are currently hoping that it can take place on May 20th. In the future, the prize will be awarded every two years.
The award ceremony will take place in the reading room on the upper floor of the elementary school. The winner will come to Winterlingen for a reading. The reading room was only recently completed and henceforth bears the name “Manfred Mai Reading Room”.
150 books from the competition
The elementary school owes the facility to a foundation dedicated to it amounting to 10,000 euros, as headmaster Matthias Gayer explained when presenting the rooms, as well as a donation of Manfred Mai’s extensive collection of books. As part of the Children’s Book Prize competition, he received four copies of around 150 books from various publishers. The author will also add to this stock with his own works from the field of children’s literature, so that a good 250 more books with a value of around 5000 euros will complement the range of books for the 132 pupils of the primary school.
And he has already made a commitment: Mai would like to continue making the incoming works for the book prize available to the elementary school students in the reading room in the future.
Cozy children’s room atmosphere
During the presentation of the reading room, headmaster Matthias Gayer and vice principal Sandra Rauer-Schaudt expressed their joy that the author, who is well-known far beyond the borders of his homeland, gave the school the extensive range of books free of charge.
The new reading room is a former classroom that school secretary Gerlinde Zeller was in charge of redesigning. Comfortable beanbags, wing sofas and lounger cushions exude the charm of a cozy children’s room. Filled bookshelves structure the room. Green plants, several movie posters and jungle motifs behind the seating area and a plush monkey dangling from the ceiling create a homely atmosphere while reading.
Entry into the world of books
When the project was presented, Manfred Mai immediately got an idea of the room that bears his name. Some children in grades three and four have already taken a few books from the shelves and placed themselves in the seating areas. With the donation he would like to offer the children an attractive introduction to the world of books and encourage reading.
Once this has been awakened, according to the Winterlinger author, the children and their families would have access to another very extensive range of reading material on all topics in the community library just a few steps away.