Lukupesä offers immigrant parents -and others interested-a holistic program to support and develop plurilingual families reading practices in heritage languages.  The key components (see below) are a series of training sessions, tours and workshops to help communities to take advantage of all existing infrastructure and services that supports reading and that exist in the cities of the metropolitan area. We will read in Spanish; Portuguese, Swahili, English and Basic Finnish.


With LUKUPESÄ we are sharing our experience of 10 years organizing reading times in Spanish and Portuguese. These events are valuable in supporting the recognition of their heritage languages, identity and multiculturality and the key role that reading has in the development of the language, early learning and sustaining well-being in general.  We also have discovered that storytelling times are powerful ways to support new coming families and parents raising multilingual children in their efforts to learn about how things work in Finland. There are many services and infrastructures available but those are not well-connected from the perspective of immigrants.  There is a lack of materials and ideas for how to run, organize and take advantage of existing infrastructure. The existing wonderful collection of children’s books in HELMET e.g., via multilingual library in Helsinki and others) is often underutilized; there is also need to develop materials that help parents (especially fathers) to awaken their children’s love for reading and for languages in general. 


Book and authors recommendations 2022:

In Spanish


All the material produced by Lukupesä 2021 is available for downloading and viewing



More info:

Guided tours through the children’s book collections in HelMet  

Short online sessions for newly arrived and new parents, introducing them to the use of HELMET children’s book collections. The sessions offer a meeting point with practical information on the best way to find good books and authors appropriate to ages and interest of the children. How does one discover great children’s books-in different languages-that can be used for reading at home? Our experience tells us that most of the gems the collections hold are not on the shelves of the libraries and need to be taken from storage and borrowed from other libraries. Some session will be held in collaboration with local libraries and will be planned in PortuguesSpanish, English and Easy Finnish 

Hands on workshops: Heritage Language Reading Nests for families

A series of workshops to support newly arrived families with children and parents to be (expecting mothers and fathers) with concrete and significative resources on how to start interacting with their children from early ages using books written in their own language. The sessions will be highly interactive and will use books available from the HELMET collection, provide book suggestions and other support material. The sessions are organized in the form of a reading circle, with parents trying out strategies as they are introduced and shared.  


Training: Reading mediation for heritage languages and storytelling

A series of training sessions  targeted to all those interested in children’s literature and storytelling that want to develop their skills as storytellers and would like to consider developing and organizing story times with in their own communities. The training will be offered in English and Spanish (with the possibility for discussion and mentoring in Finnish). Some of these sessions will be online and depending on possibilities face to face at a library (with the possibility of child care). 


The sessions will be highly interactive, with book recommendations that are available from the HelMet collection, book suggestions and other support material collected and prepared for this occasion. Ninho will issue a certificate for those successfully completing the sessions.  

V Biennial Seminar on Bilingualism for Parents 2021 

A hybrid seminar in the fall of 2021 to support immigrants’ parents and locals raising plurilingual children in the Helsinki metropolitan region (to be done in cooperation with Vuotalo). The online seminar discusses with the community, parent’s key role in the development of minority heritage language, identity, early learning and well-being. The main language will be Spanish and Portuguese but there will be text interpretation in English (to increase accessibility to other audiences).


The seminar is a meeting with experts, activists and officers at public institutions and programs in the field of education, culture, and wellbeing. It will also include the participation of international experts in children literature and learning/teaching a second heritage language in a hosting country, and professional and local activists. The focus of the seminar will take into consideration local realities, necessities of beginner families, especially for fathers . The methodology of the seminar is thought as a conversation between adults, who are equal as parents-but that have different resources, knowledge, identities, and necessities at hand. 

Responsible: Laura Gazzotti

Calendar of events 2022

Reading mediation and children’s literature with Ivonne Carlos (Online)


5/12.11.2022 11-13:30 Online

These sessions will create an interactive and relaxed space that will help participants reflect about literary mediation with children. The sessions are an invitation to be analytical not only about the books we use to socialize with children, but with the approach we have towards them, and the way we relate and act when connecting children to books. Reading mediation is, in fact, a mutual exchange and represents a loving, ethical, sociocultural and human commitment.

Taking shelter in language, with Adolfo Córdova (Hybrid)


13.10. 4-5 Tikkurila Library

The Mexican author Adolfo Córdova will share his experience as a writer, researcher and reading mediator articulating books, childhood stories and keys to reading mediation.  

Lukupesä in Kolibrí Festivaali 2022


Friday, September 23 – Sello Library
2pm (baby): Spanish and Portuguese
3pm (+3 years): Spanish and Portuguese


Saturday, September 24 – Lastenkulttuurikeskus Pessi
2pm (baby): Spanish and Portuguese
3pm (+3 years): Spanish and Portuguese


Saturday, October 1 – Annantalo
11am (+3 years): Swahili and Persian
1pm (+3 years): Spanish and Portuguese
2pm (baby): Spanish and Portuguese

Past events

Helsinki Day – Plurilingual Storytelling Celebration

Sunday, June 12 – In Arabic, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Somali, Ukrainian and Easy Finnish – Oodi Library

Storytelling Marathon

Friday, April 1 – In Spanish – Oodi Library
Saturday, April 2 – In Portuguese – Oodi Library

Satakielikuukausi – Storytelling

Friday, March 4 – In Spanish – Oodi Library
Saturday, March 5 – In Portuguese – Oodi Library

Calendar of Events 2021

Hands on workshops: Heritage Language Reading Nests for families

We will have many events from Lukupesä at Kolibrí Festivaali. You can find more information at the festival program.

Training on Reading Mediation
V Biennial Seminar on Bilingualism for Parents

Tuesday, September 21 at 17:00

Conversatorio (in Spanish)

Lukupesä and Moniku
Friday, November 15 at 12:30hs
Kulttuurikeskus Ninho Facebook live

En este conversatorio compartiremos información e ideas sobre diferentes acciones, servicios y programas existentes que apoyan a las familias para mantener el español como lengua de herencia en Finlandia.