Today, one in five adults is still not literate and about two-thirds of them are women, while 67.4 million children are out of school.* These figures are staggering. Which is why the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has proclaimed September 8th International Literacy Day. It was first celebrated in 1966, and every year since, UNESCO has raised public awareness of the extraordinary value of the written word and of the necessity to promote a literate society. Writers such as Toni Morrison, Margaret Atwood, Paulo Coelho, and Amy Tan support their efforts through the Writers for Literacy Initiative. But you can help, too.
Volunteer your time and read to children (and adults) at a homeless shelter, the library, or at a school reading workshop. Gift books to young readers to encourage learning and the love of reading. Then sit back and watch as the world unfolds before them.
(This is a great way to commemorate our National Day of Service on September 11th.)
*Statistic from ENESCO