September 8 is an occasion to give hope to the millions of women, men and children who cannot read or write even their own names. International Literacy Day is a timely reminder to the world about the importance of literacy for individuals, families, communities and whole societies. This year’s theme, “Literacy sustains development”, emphasizes that literacy is not only a positive outcome of development processes but also a lever of change and an instrument for achieving further social progress. “Literacy is not merely a cognitive skill of reading, writing and arithmetic, for literacy helps in the acquisition of learning and life skills that, when strengthened by usage and application throughout people’s lives, lead to forms of individual, community and societal development that are sustainable,” says Koïchiro Matsuura, UNESCO Director-General in his message on the occasion of International Literacy Day 2006. Events are organized worldwide to raise public awareness and support for literacy.
The Alphabet of Hope: Writers for Literacy, a book bringing together internationally renowned authors advocating Literacy for All, will be published by UNESCO as part of the African Regional Conference in Support of Global Literacy, 10 to 12 September 2007, in Bamako (Mali).
Authors in the English version include: Margaret Atwood, Paul Auster, Paulo Coelho, Nadine Gordimer, Amitav Gosh, Francisco Sionil Jose, N. Scott Momaday, Toni Morrison, Wole Soyinka, Amy Tan, Miklós Vámos, and Banana Yoshimoto.
According to UNESCO, an estimated 774 million adults, two-thirds of them women, live without basic literacy skills. Many organizations in the Granite State working to help people in our community to improve their lives by improving their reading. International Literacy Day is an opportunity for you to decide how you can help.