Your Overstock.com blog team loves books, which is why we're excited about International Literacy Day. Officially, International Literacy Day 2013 was yesterday, September 8, but many schools and communities are celebrating today, too. UNESCO organized the holiday in 1966. Since then, literacy advocates have used the date to emphasize the importance of basic education to individuals and their communities.
The day has a serious mission. According to the International Reading Association, more than 774 million adults in the world cannot read or write, and millions of school-age children lack access to adequate education. Since a good education starts in childhood, it's important to promote reading programs at the local level. Here are a few ideas for supporting literacy in your community.
Donate books to community organizations. Many schools and libraries would appreciate having more books for their reading programs. Children like to borrow books, and having a good selection encourages them to do it often. Adult literacy programs could use extra supplies, too. Make a call to your favorite organization today and find out what books they need.
Give books as gifts. Almost every child likes having books of his own, especially as the bookcase in his room fills with new titles. Even a child who is struggling with reading will look at stories about his favorite subject, be it trucks, dinosaurs, or insects. Young adults enjoy the latest literary craze, which usually involves a series.
You can give and receive more titles by organizing book exchanges. Exchange new or used books among friends and family members, and let the children participate. This shows kids how important reading is to their favorite adults. And be sure to celebrate All Hallows Read this year. This new tradition involves exchanging scary books at Halloween. There are plenty of fun and age-appropriate Halloween books available for kids.
Volunteer your time. This project can be as easy as reading to a child, which is the best way to encourage small children to look at, and eventually read, books. And schools and libraries often welcome parents who want to help little ones learn their ABC's. If you want to reach out beyond your own family, consider teaching an adult to read. Local literacy programs can pair you with adults who want to improve their language skills. I can speak from experience on this subject: I spent an inspirational year teaching English to elderly refugees. You'd be amazed how much a person's quality of life improves when she can read basic directions and documents.
Do you love to read? How do you share that passion with others? Share your ideas for promoting literacy in your community.
Posted by Shawna Edwards