By Lani deGuia, Guest Blogger and Curriki Member
Did you know that 1 in 5 people in the world can’t read?
It’s true – the World Literacy Foundation says close to 20% of the world’s population is illiterate. Literacy skills are essential for lifelong learning, and can help elevate global education and progress for the future.
On Sept. 8, United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) celebrates the 50th anniversary of International Literacy Day. The day will be marked by a two-day conference in Paris on Sept. 8 and 9 where experts in the field, private business, learners, and educators will meet to discuss the progress of promoting literacy as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
But worldwide, schools, communities, and organizations are also encouraged to help spread awareness and increase accessibility to education in developing nations.
How can you help?
There are many opportunities for teachers, homeschoolers, parents and students to get involved in promoting literacy.
Put Up a Poster – UNESCO provides a downloadable poster to celebrate the 50th anniversary and spread awareness around your classroom and school.
Join the Campaign – The World Literacy Foundation is hosting a 2016 International Literacy Day campaign themed “The Sky’s The Limit” If you register your school by Sept. 7, the Foundation will provide materials to help your school run a school community fundraising campaign toward global literacy.
Promote Literacy Within your Classroom and School – Start the movement for strengthening reading and writing skills by participating literacy activities right in your classroom and school. Here are some ideas from the Curriki community: http://library.curriki.org/oer/Kindergarten-Literacy-Centers/)
- Do your students need a reference card for themselves or posted in the classroom? Here’s a Reading Strategies Poster that covers the eight reading strategies and offers phrase starters to get students started on creating meaning from text.
- Karen Fasimpaur offers collections of fiction and nonfiction decodable reading passages for early readers that include PDFs, PowerPoint presentations and interactive Voicethreads for students to record themselves reading.
- Anna Batchelder offers this collection on Literacy Resources for Early Childhood Educators filled with reading lists, early readers suggestions, and activities reading comprehension.
- ReadWriteThink offers ideas for your class to celebrate International Literacy Day, including a class read-a-thon, creating a cross-grade reading buddy program, or making original books to share with community members.
- Wonderopolis can help get students start thinking about literacy with activities on the different ways to read and exploring why we read from left to right.
- Literacy Tips for Parents offers strategies for parents and families to promote a literate household.
- Teach Kindergarten or early primary grades? Here are ideas for creating literacy centers in your classroom .
How do you plan on celebrating International Literacy Day?
Share your ideas! Don’t forget to follow along on social media (#LiteracyDay and #50ILD) with your students and children to find out the latest on events and activities!
Lani deGuia is a Norfolk, VA-based Educational Consultant with experience writing and developing curriculum and managing school technology.