September 8, 2012 is International Literacy Day! The theme set out by the United Nations is Literacy and Peace. On their website, they state: “literacy contributes to peace as it brings people closer to attaining individual freedoms and better understanding the world, as well as preventing or resolving conflict. The connection between literacy and peace can be seen by the fact that in unstable democracies or in conflict-affected countries it is harder to establish or sustain a literate environment.”
There are great suggestions on the site as to ways you could help promote literacy in your own community. You could donate books to a school or community facility, start a book club, volunteer to help with literacy programs in your community or become a mentor to a non-literate person in your community. We forget sometimes that literacy is a local issue, not just one concerning people in less fortunate countries. You can also visit a great Canadian site such as ABC Life Literacy Canada for more ideas and information.
How about learning a new “literacy” skill, such as trying to learn a new language, learning to use a computer, or going back to school to expand your knowledge in other areas. What are YOU going to do for International Literacy Day?