International Literacy Day

Today is International Literacy Day. A big part of literacy is being read to as a child. This helps future readers build their vocabulary. In addition, picture books and graphic novels help build visual literacy.

It has always been funny to me how the books kids love often challenge their parents. My parents quickly grew tired of my toddler favorite. My parents still quoted Puffy at me when I was in college! “Puffy the puppy is fat and well fed. Puffy the puppy…”

My favorite when my son was little was Sandra Boyton’s Barnyard Dance. Or her Moo Baa La La La.

My son’s favorite? No, David! by David Shannon. The day he latched on to this book at Mainstreet Books, I challenged him. “Why do you even want it?” “The pictures are just so beautiful.” Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder. I couldn’t argue with his reasoning and he got the book. I can’t even say how many times we read it but he’s an engineering student now so I guess it worked out in the end.

With e-books and online content playing such a big part in the market today, digital access is part of the literacy equation. That’s why the theme of International Literacy Day 2021 is “Literacy for a human-centred recovery: Narrowing the digital divide.”

Recovery from what? COVID-19.

International Literacy Day was found in 1967 by UNESCO, the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization. Not surprisingly, UNESCO is concerned with how COVID-19 has disrupted learning. As much as upper and middle class Americans complain about our children missing organized sports and school activities, the pandemic has emphasized inequality in access to learning.

Because of this UNESCO is encouraging those of us who work with young learners to consider this – what makes technology-enabled literacy learning inclusive and meaningful to leave no one behind. In short, as awesome as they are, Little Free Libraries in middle class neighborhoods are not enough. Check out the UNESCO Literacy Day site for more information.


#InternationalLiteracyDay #LiteracyDay #LiteracyDay2021