Encouraging reading is a major component of the corporate social responsibility of the Deutsche Bahn Foundation, because reading books and being read to sparks the imagination, promotes language development and reading skills. Children who often have stories read to them have an easier time learning to read themselves and they learn faster. Only good readers can acquire knowledge from media like books and the internet and understand correlations and overall contexts. In short, only people who can read can educate themselves. Reading aloud can jump start a successful future. Children who are often read to are more active during their free time and perform better at school. And they very likely also have better chances of finding a qualified training position or job.
To ensure that reading becomes a normal part of the lives of as many children and young people as possible, the Deutsche Bahn Foundation supports the Reading Foundation with various projects and by assuming a position on the board. Dr Rüdiger Grube, Chairman of the Management Board and CEO of Deutsche Bahn, is a member of the Board of Directors of the Reading Foundation.
The Reading Foundation is an excellent partner when it comes to promoting reading and encouraging people of all ages and from all sectors of the population to read. For instance, it provides professional advice for staff at children’s daycare centres and schools, organises conferences and researches interdisciplinary aspects. The Reading Foundation's Institute for Reading and Media Research conducts scientific research into reading and media use, primarily by children and young people, and carries out its own studies, sometimes in cooperation with the Deutsche Bahn Foundation. Since 2007, the two partners and the German weekly DIE ZEIT have conducted a study on reading aloud to coincide with Germany's National Reading Day. Other projects launched by the Reading Foundation and the Deutsche Bahn Foundation include the "All the children of the world" reading campaign for daycare centres and the large DB boxes of books for children's homes and other social work centres.
The Reading Foundation operates under the patronage of Germany's President and celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2013. On that occasion, Managing Director Jörg F. Maas stated: "We must face up to the challenges of digital transformation and see them as an opportunity. We must tailor our work more closely to demographic change. It is important for all groups in society to cooperate even more closely than before to promote reading and to exploit synergies more effectively. After all, we all share the same goal of making reading accessible to everyone and improving reading skills over the long term. This common goal should serve as the guideline for our concerted efforts, as this is the only way we will succeed in making Germany a country of readers."