International Literacy Day

Three book stacked on top of one another: Reading, Writing, Arithmatic

International Literacy Day is observed worldwide on September 8th. First celebrated in 1966, its aim is to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities, and societies as a matter of dignity and human rights.

On International Literacy Day each year, UNESCO reminds the international community of the status of literacy and adult learning globally. Some 771 million adults lack minimum literacy skills; one in five adults is still not literate, and two-thirds of them are women. In the U.S. alone, an estimated 32 million adults are considered illiterate. We all know how the world pandemic increased the dropout rate in education. It is estimated that 24 million leave school and never return to formal instruction. How do you function in today’s world if you’re illiterate?

Literacy has been described as the ability to read for knowledge, write coherently, and think critically about the written word. Some researchers suggest that the concept of “literacy” can be divided into two periods. Before 1950, literacy was understood only as alphabetical literacy (word and letter recognition). After 1950, literacy slowly began to be considered as a wider concept and process, including the important social and cultural aspects of reading and writing.

(from UNESCO, Wikipedia, and