September 8th is International Literacy Day. It’s a day to celebrate the strides and accomplishments in promoting worldwide literacy- there are now close to 4 billion literate people in the world- and to recognize the work that still needs to be done. Still today, one in five adults on our planet is illiterate and two-thirds of illiterate adults are women.
Literacy is important for any person to be competitive in the workplace and have access to an educational foundation. It’s a tool for empowerment, a means by which people born into unfortunate circumstances can rise above and open doors to a better future.
The ability to read is a key in communications, especially in the digital age. It’s how stories are shared and preserved, information is gathered and created, and culture is taught and passed. Literacy is a human right to which everyone, regardless of gender or location on the planet, should have access.
Like the old proverb says, “give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for one day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” By providing books and reading education to those in countries without access to such materials, they will be better able to solve their own problems. Increases in literacy lead to such positive changes as poverty reduction, reductions in child mortality, curbing population growth, and putting societies on the path to gender equality.
A simple and free way to help spread international literacy is by checking out We Give Books. Parents will love this because it makes their children’s reading education part of helping an excellent cause and doing something bigger.
Through We Give Books, you and your children can put books in the hands of underprivileged children worldwide by reading for free. Choose a literary organization to support, choose a children’s book from their online library, read it with the little ones, and when you’ve finished the book, a book is donated to the organization without cost to you.
The ability to read may be something we take for granted, but just try to imagine life without it. It’s not a life I’d enjoy living, but it’s the norm for many. So today, be grateful for the gift of literacy and do whatever you can to spread the joy of reading to everyone.
International Literacy Day