International Literacy Day – September 8

Over fifty years ago, UNESCO declared September 8 International Literacy Day to promote literacy across the globe and rally the international community. Today, we continue to observe this day by involving ourselves in this important cause. Around the world, nearly 800 million people are illiterate in their own languages. Two-thirds of these people are women. Literacy is incredibly vital in so many ways and it is for these reasons International Literacy Day came to be. We know you want to do something to both celebrate literacy where it thrives and advocate for an increase in literacy and education opportunities where it does not, so we have the ideas and information you need to get to it and make the most of this important day!

Why International Literacy Day is Important

A. It’s crucial in sharing ideas
Where would we be if we did not share thoughts and ideas? The phone or computer you are reading this on, the coffee you might be drinking right now, the clothes you are wearing – all of these things exist because someone was able to share their ideas with others. They were able to get help and feedback and could work together to achieve their goals. It may seem like a basic concept, but it’s an incredibly important one we should not take for granted.

B. It enables us to make the most of life
Without literacy, we would not be able to communicate with our loved ones. We would not be able to further our educations or go after what we want most in life. It would make traveling almost impossible and we would not be able to use social media (we know your heart stopped at the thought of that last one). Think of all the things you love in life and then consider how large of a role literacy plays in it.

C. It encourages advocacy for human rights
Literacy enables us to stand up for what we believe in. When oppressed persons are illiterate, they have a small voice (if they have one at all). Additionally, literacy assures that people are aware of their rights in the first place so that they are able to assert them. Being able to both speak , write, and read well are crucial in advocating human rights and ensuring equality for all.

How to Observe International Literacy Day

1. Donate
Make a contribution to the future of literacy by donating to the International Literacy Association. Your donation will help to increase literacy worldwide as well as support educators and advocates for education. No matter how little or how much you give, you will be helping people across the globe!

2. Show teachers your appreciation
Teachers play a major role in ensuring the literacy of our citizens. They dedicate so much time and energy to teach our children to read and write and deserve our thanks. This International Literacy Day, let a teacher know you appreciate them. Give them a small gift, send them a card, or simply say thank you. It can mean the world to a hard working teacher!

3. Help students with their reading
Whether you have a child in your life that is learning to read or are interested in tutoring, you can help children better their reading skills. Help your child with their English homework. Assist a young niece or nephew in learning to read. Volunteer to help tutor students who are struggling with grammar, language, or other relevant subjects. It’s rewarding for you and ultimately beneficial for the entire community.

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