Students in Peshawar, Pakistan, reading in class
Students in Peshawar, Pakistan, reading in class

Happy Literacy Day 2020!

Celebrate a day that’s all about reading and writing.

You can travel to a wizarding school. Or take a trip to a zoo of talking animals. And you don’t even have to leave your bedroom. How is that possible? Reading, of course! September 8 is International Literacy Day. It is all about changing the world through reading.

A group called UNESCO is in charge of this event. This year, the day’s theme is “literacy teaching and learning in the COVID-19 crisis.” The event will focus on the gap in learning during the pandemic. Schools across the world came to a screeching stop this year. Kids had to learn from home to stay safe.

Not everyone has access to quality education from home. Some people lack important technology, such as computers. They are unable to attend online classes. The coronavirus disrupted global learning. It made the issue of illiteracy even worse.

At least 773 million adults around the world lack basic literacy skills. They may not be able to read or write well — or at all. Illiteracy could be an especially big issue now. People who can’t read don’t have as much access to the medical information they need.

So, UNESCO’s mission is more important than ever this year. On Tuesday, there will be an online event. Leaders will come together virtually. They will talk about how to make literacy learning a priority in times of global crisis.

Lucy Evans knows all about literacy. She's a librarian at the British Library in London, England. And she's seen how the pandemic has made reading a challenge. “Coronavirus has had a big impact,” she told News-O-Matic. Her library closed down in March this year. The shutting down of libraries is another way access to resources was disrupted in the pandemic. “I have really missed being around books,” Evans added.

Librarians like Evans work to share their love of reading. They show us that reading opens up opportunities in your life. Evans explained that she loves reading books that “express exactly how you feel.” She said that “it makes you feel like someone else is just like you!”

Because of experts like Evans, literacy is on the rise. In 2010, 125 million people worldwide between the ages of 16 and 24 were illiterate. But by 2018, that number dropped to 100 million. And UNESCO said it continues to fall! The group’s goal is to have all youth and most adults achieve literacy by 2030.

Evans said there’s more to literacy than you might think though. “Literacy is, of course, about learning to read and write,” Evans said. It’s also about “developing a love of reading and writing — whatever form that might take.”

The expert explained that “it might be reading comic books or writing poems.” So, curl up with your favorite novel and celebrate reading. Evans said, “You will never be bored if you have a book!”

Updated September 7, 2020, 5:02 P.M. (ET)
By Alexa Tirapelli

Happy Literacy Day 2020!

Celebrate a day that’s all about reading and writing.

Students in Peshawar, Pakistan, reading in class
Students in Peshawar, Pakistan, reading in class

You can travel to a wizarding school. Or take a trip to a zoo of talking animals. And you don’t even have to leave your bedroom. How is that possible? Reading, of course! September 8 is International Literacy Day. It is all about changing the world through reading.

A group called UNESCO is in charge of this event. This year, the day’s theme is “literacy teaching and learning in the COVID-19 crisis.” The event will focus on the gap in learning during the pandemic. Schools across the world came to a screeching stop this year. Kids had to learn from home to stay safe.

Not everyone has access to quality education from home. Some people lack important technology, such as computers. They are unable to attend online classes. The coronavirus disrupted global learning. It made the issue of illiteracy even worse.

At least 773 million adults around the world lack basic literacy skills. They may not be able to read or write well — or at all. Illiteracy could be an especially big issue now. People who can’t read don’t have as much access to the medical information they need.

So, UNESCO’s mission is more important than ever this year. On Tuesday, there will be an online event. Leaders will come together virtually. They will talk about how to make literacy learning a priority in times of global crisis.

Lucy Evans knows all about literacy. She's a librarian at the British Library in London, England. And she's seen how the pandemic has made reading a challenge. “Coronavirus has had a big impact,” she told News-O-Matic. Her library closed down in March this year. The shutting down of libraries is another way access to resources was disrupted in the pandemic. “I have really missed being around books,” Evans added.

Librarians like Evans work to share their love of reading. They show us that reading opens up opportunities in your life. Evans explained that she loves reading books that “express exactly how you feel.” She said that “it makes you feel like someone else is just like you!”

Because of experts like Evans, literacy is on the rise. In 2010, 125 million people worldwide between the ages of 16 and 24 were illiterate. But by 2018, that number dropped to 100 million. And UNESCO said it continues to fall! The group’s goal is to have all youth and most adults achieve literacy by 2030.

Evans said there’s more to literacy than you might think though. “Literacy is, of course, about learning to read and write,” Evans said. It’s also about “developing a love of reading and writing — whatever form that might take.”

The expert explained that “it might be reading comic books or writing poems.” So, curl up with your favorite novel and celebrate reading. Evans said, “You will never be bored if you have a book!”

Updated September 7, 2020, 5:02 P.M. (ET)
By Alexa Tirapelli

Draw it AskRus