International Literacy Day

Books on Table in Library

Over 775 million adults lack minimum literacy skills. While one in five adults are still not literate. September 8th was declared International Literacy Day by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on November 17, 1965. The aim is to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities, and societies.

The theme of this year’s International Literacy Day is “Literacy in a Digital World”. On September 7th and 8th a special two-day event will be organized at UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris, to look at what kind of literacy skills individuals need to navigate increasingly digitally focused societies, and to explore effective literacy policies and programs that can make opportunities available world-wide.

The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by world leaders in September of 2015, promote universal access to quality education and learning opportunities. Goals target, “all young people achieve literacy and numeracy and that adults who lack these skills are given the opportunity to acquire them”. International Literacy Day promotes that belief and recognizes that goal.

Writers aren’t the only ones to contribute to raising awareness of illiteracy: there are various companies and charity organizations that support the fight against illiteracy. One such charity, Ethiopia Reads, has recently worked with Sheridan Elementary students to publish a book for children in Ethiopia. You can read the full article Sheridan Students become Published Authors on connectED.

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*Quote provided by the United Nations.

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