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
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
"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
Also at the event, Rotary
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.
5 Sep 2012 3:43 PM