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What is International Literacy Day?
International Literacy Day is an international holiday celebrated each year on September 8. This holiday was conceived in 1966 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This holiday’s founding premise is to bring awareness to the challenges of literacy and allow for local community ownership and activism in the eradication of illiteracy.
MS Community Supports International Literacy Day
Local citizens in a small town in northeast Mississippi, are also working to support International Literacy Day and to improve literacy within their community throughout the year. The Okolona Book Nook Project has existed for roughly 40 years and is currently spear-headed by Barbara Carouthers, the local bookmobile librarian who is a graduate of PPS’s Parent Engagement Program (PEP).
Through the efforts of the mobile library, citizens in the Okolona community (both school-aged children and adult learners) are provided access to books and materials with the ultimate goal of continued improvement in the public school system. In fact, better readers are oftentimes better writers which leads to student achievement growth and improved public schools.
Last year, the Book Nook Project conducted 315 reading sessions with pre-kindergarten students in an effort to foster a life-long love of reading. Further, this endeavor also works with adult learners, the oldest of whom is 93 years old and an avid reader.
Support International Literacy Day
If you would like to participate in this year’s Literacy Day celebration, here are a few activities to consider in your local community:
- Donate books to local classrooms.
- Gift a book to someone.
- Start a community lending library.
Want to do more than participate locally? Celebrate International Literacy Day on a global scale via the following online events scheduled for September 8:
- 6:30-8:30 a.m. EST – “Literacy Teaching and Learning in the COVID-19 Crisis and Beyond: The Role of Educators and Changing Pedagogies”
- 9:00-10:00 a.m. EST – “Meeting on the Laureates of the UNESCO International Literacy Prizes 2020”
- Both meetings will be accessible by registering through the following Zoom link. To register for these international meetings, click here.