International Literacy Day
8 September, is the United Nations’ Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) International Literacy Day – the theme of this year’s International Literacy Day is “Literacy and Sustainable Development.”
For almost 50 years, UNESCO has been celebrating International Literacy Day. The day draws awareness to the international community that literacy is a human right and the foundation of all learning. Today highlights the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies.
Literacy and being able to read and write, is the foundation of learning. Once children have learnt to read and write they are enabled to use these skills to learn and develop.
Literacy, along with numeracy, enables children to participate fully in education, and subsequently in further education, work and other roles and to live a life they have reason to value.
On International Literacy Day each year, UNESCO reminds the international community of the status of literacy and adult learning globally. There will be many celebrations of literacy that take place around the world today.
UNESCO says the following about Literacy:
Literacy is a human right, a tool of personal empowerment and a means for social and human development. Educational opportunities depend on literacy. Literacy is at the heart of basic education for all, and essential for eradicating poverty, reducing child mortality, curbing population growth, achieving gender equality and ensuring sustainable development, peace and democracy. There are good reasons why literacy is at the core of Education for All.
You can find further information at the UNESCO website.
Along with International Literacy day, there are a number of other events that celebrate literacy in Australia.
Children's Book Week
Each year since 1945, the Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA) has hosted Children's Book Week to honour and celebrate the work of Australian authors and illustrators.
Schools around the national celebrate books, often encouraging children to dress as a character from a favourite book. This year’s Book Week theme was ‘Connect to Reading’.
The first Australian Children's Book of the Year Award was made in 1946. At that time and until 1952, there was only one award. The Picture Book of the Year Award was established as a separate award in 1952. Until 1982, there was no division between Older and Younger Readers. The Eve Pownall Award for information books was presented by Eve Pownall's family in 1988, then by the Children's Book Council from 1993. The Early Childhood Award was introduced in 2001.
You can find more information at the CBCA website.
National Literacy and Numeracy Week
National Literacy and Numeracy Week (NLNW) is run by the Australian Government each year to raise community awareness of the importance of literacy and numeracy skills for all Australian students. During NLNW there are some formal literacy and numeracy activities which are complemented by many resources to help teachers incorporate the activities into their classroom learning. NLNW was held from 25-31 August and this year’s theme was ‘Explore’.
For further information you can visit the NLNW website.