Today is the 50th anniversary of International Literacy Day (ILD), an annual observance promoted by UNESCO to “actively mobilize the international community and to promote literacy as an instrument to empower individuals, communities and societies.”
UNESCO is celebrating ILD’s 50th anniversary under the banner “Reading the Past, Writing the Future,” in recognition of the past five decades of national and “international engagement, efforts and progress made to increase literacy rates around the world.”
The main global celebration of the day takes place at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris, in the form of a two-day conference and the awarding of UNESCO’s International Literacy Prizes for 2016. In addition, a new program, the Global Alliance for Literacy (GAL) will be launched. UNESCO calls GAL a “new and ambitious initiative to make all major stakeholders pull together to promote literacy as a foundation for lifelong learning.”
There are events, articles, and statements from government officials around the globe today to mark the occasion. ILD celebrations are generally more prominent outside of the Unites States, although many U.S. adult literacy programs mark the day as well. This UNESCO page has links to some of the more prominent ILD 2016 events.
I find that ILD provides a good opportunity to explore literacy efforts outside the U.S., and so I always take some time out on September 8 to explore ILD-related activities in other countries. If I have time today, I will post a few links.
For those of you who are fans of infographics, here is the official UNESCO ILD 2016 infographic (click on it to see the entire thing):