Thursday, September 6, 2012

International Literacy Day is September 8th

More literacy news: September 8th is International Literacy Day—the official day to recognize the importance of literacy in the lives of children and adults around the world. The theme of International Literacy Day this year is literacy and peace to demonstrate the multiple uses and value that literacy brings to people.

Sponsored by IRA (International Reading Association) and the United Nations, International Reading Day is marked by events held throughout the world. This year the Pearson Foundation has joined our friends at IRA and Rotary International to sponsor two Literacy Project Awards of Excellence to ongoing and noteworthy IRA-Rotary literacy projects that demonstrate outstanding collaboration with local reading councils in their communities. The awards, presented on September 7 at the International Literacy Day celebration in Washington, D.C., were given to Reading Rocks in Rockford in Rockford, Michigan, a joint venture of Rockford Rotary and Rockford Public Schools and Guatemala Bookmaking in Salem, Oregon, a joint venture of Salem Oregon Rotary Club and Oregon's Vineyards Valley Reading Council. Each organization received a monetary award and the opportunity to indentify an organization to receive up to 1,000 books through the Pearson Foundation’s We Give Books. As a result, We Give Books donated 1,000 books to the William M. Botnan School in Santa Avelina, Guatemala and the Hope Network.

Though IRA estimates that there are now close to four billion literate people in the world, there are still approximately 780 million adults, nearly two-thirds of whom are women, who do not know how to read and write. International Literacy Day is a way to continue to increase literacy around the world.

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