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International Literacy Day
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International Literacy Day, traditionally observed annually on September 8, focuses attention on worldwide literacy needs. More than 780 million of the world's adults (nearly two-thirds of whom are women) do not know how to read or write, and between 94 and 115 million children lack access to education.

This year the International Reading Association's celebration of International Literacy Day will commence on Friday, September 7, 2012 with a special event at the Library of Congress Jefferson Building in Washington, DC. 

"There are currently more than 780 million illiterate adults and over 100 million children without regular access to education," IRA President Carrice Cummins points out. "However, there are also more than four billion literate people in the world which is still reason to celebrate.  International Literacy Day provides us with an opportunity to celebrate our successes while also reminding us of the need to continue sharing our stories and combining our efforts to meet the literacy needs of all people, nationally and internationally."

Also at the event, Rotary International, Pearson Foundation, and IRA will award $2,500 to two literacy projects: A panel of Rotarians and IRA members gave the award to the Rotary Clubs of Rockford, Michigan, USA, and Salem, Oregon, USA, for demonstrating outstanding collaboration with local reading councils in their communities.

The Rockford club won its award for Reading Rocks, an annual reading festival that takes place in August. The club partners with the local reading council, school district, and library district for the daylong event, which includes live entertainment, a parade, and family activities that promote the importance of literacy.

The Salem club was chosen in recognition of a bookmaking project for schoolchildren in Santa Avelina, Guatemala. With the help of the Vineyard Valleys Reading Council, volunteers from both organizations put together children's books for The William M. Botnan Experimental School, where all 130 elementary students speak Cozal Ixil, a Mayan language. The project is an effort to preserve culture through the indigenous language, which is not recognized or taught in public schools.


Posted 5 Sep 2012 3:43 PM by Maria Sosa