On the heels of National Read a Book Day, September 8 is International Literacy Day (ILD). The annual “holiday” was established by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) back in 1965. The annual event raises awareness about literacy issues around the world.
Not only is literacy an essential human right, it is a valuable means of communication, personal empowerment and serves as a foundation for learning. Literacy is a tool that not only helps to improves economic status, but helps ensure gender equality, helps eradicate poverty and helps reduce the rate of infant mortality. According to UNESCO, more than 770 million adults lack basic reading and writing skills – and 64 percent are women.
Imagine not being able to read a letter from a loved one, read the latest breaking news, job description or tweet or text message. Imagine not be able to sign your own name on a legal document. Reading really is fundamental.
Reading Resources for Children and Adults
- Storyline Online is a wonderful online resource for children learning to read. With over 20 terrific titles to choose from, select a book and watch and listen as a famous celebrity reads the book aloud while the child follows along. Each book includes subtitles that can be turned on or off. Although the service from the Screen Actors Guild is free, tax-deductible donations are accepted.
- Starfall offers a slew of interactive stories for young readers.
- Story Place The Children’s Digital Library provides interactive online stories and activities for preschool and elementary age children available in both English and Spanish.
- Bored.com offers a wide variety of free electronic books for children and adults. From classic children’s books and cooking books to travel and science, be sure to check this site out.
- Children’s Storybooks Online offers “illustrated children’s stories for kids of all ages.”
- Touted as the “world’s largest community for discovering and sharing stories,” Wattpad offers unlimited stories via the web, cell phone or tablet. With more than 5 million stories and 8 million unique monthly visitors, the site also “connects readers and writers”
- GCFLearnFree Reading Program helps adults of all ages and all reading levels become better readers.
- Project Gutenberg offers more than 40,000 free electronic books that have been previously published by “bona fide” publishers.
- Bag the Books Book Bag – You need something to carry all those heavy books, right? Make your very own, one-of-a-kind book bag out of a backpack. You’ll need fabric crayons and markers and a hot iron for this fun project from Crayola.
For more traditional, not-so-traditional and just plain wacky holidays, please check out the September Holiday Calendar.