GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) –Grab your favorite books and enjoy because Wednesday is International Literacy Day.
Celebrated on September 8 every year, it’s celebrated to raise awareness and concern for literacy problems that still exist within our own local communities as well as globally.
International Literacy Day was founded by a proclamation of The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, in 1966 to “remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights.”
Much progress has been made in improving literacy rates in the more than 50 years since the first International Literacy Day, but it still remains a global problem. It is thought that more than 750 million adults around the world who cannot read. In the United States, an estimated 32 million American adults are illiterate.
Want to celebrate? Donate books to a local classroom or book store. Gift a book to a child you know. Start a community library where everyone can participate for free. Grab a cozy blanket and your favorite book and get to reading!
According to National Today, there are five reasons literacy is important to everyone:
- Brain health – Studies show that giving the brain a daily workout reading, writing and working with numbers keeps brain cells healthy as we age, reducing the chances of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia later in life.
- Community participation – The lack of literary skills limits social engagement at all age levels and prevents adults and children from being able to participate fully and contribute to the betterment of society.
- Effective Communication – Learning to read and write improves our ability to communicate effectively with others by enhancing oral language, allowing us to express our feelings, thoughts, and ideas with others more clearly.
- Employment Advancement – Knowing how to read, write and work with numbers are critical skills for jobs with opportunities to advance up the social-economic ladder. Literacy breaks the cycle of poverty, one life at a time.
- Knowledge is Power – Literacy is the key to personal empowerment and gives us personal dignity and self-worth.