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UNESCO Cities of Literature Champion International Literacy Day

Ruby Tyler
Tue 8 Sep, 2020

UNESCO Cities of Literature are excited to be celebrating International Literacy Day collectively for the first time, on Tuesday 8 September 2020, via an international social media campaign led by Bucheon UNESCO City of Literature.

UNESCO Cities of Literature strive to improve literacy every day, in order to improve life outcomes and wellbeing for their communities. As the world continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, some cites have reconfigured their plans for International Literacy Day 2020 so that the network can continue its simultaneous celebrations either face-to-face or in a digital space.

This difficult time magnifies existing literacy issues: many schools, universities, and learning centres are closed and educators and students are facing great challenges. The Cities of Literature are taking this moment to promote the importance of reading for both children and adults, and to highlight the essential work of our partners dedicated to literacy education.

Fourteen Cities of Literature, Bucheon, Dunedin, Edinburgh, Kuhmo, Lillehammer, Manchester, Montevideo, Nanjing, Norwich, Nottingham, Québec City, Seattle, Ulyanovsk, and Wonju have joined together to shine a light on International Literacy Day, each in their own unique way. Celebrations include adult literacy education and community access projects, the ongoing work of libraries and national charities, exhibitions, readings of old and brand-new stories for children, community workshops, tips for creating engaging stories for the young from home, stories shared by young and visually-impaired students, a Tell Me a Story project, and street art with words. Other Cities of Literature are poised ready to share and celebrate these initiatives widely across their own social media platforms.

International Literacy Day will be highlighted in this way across the globe. The Cities of Literature hope to reinforce the importance of reading and writing for healthy communities, and to leverage the power of words in offering unity and strength during these difficult times.

International Literacy Day Bucheon 2020 2

International Literacy Day Bucheon, 2020

About International Literacy Day:

International Literacy Day is on 8 September, and was first declared by UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) in 1966 to remind the international community of the importance of literacy for individuals, communities and societies, and the need for intensified efforts towards more literate societies.

The issue of literacy is a key component of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Ensuring that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults achieve literacy and numeracy is one of the ten targets for SDG 4: Education.

What will the Cities of Literature be doing on International Literacy Day, 8 September 2020?

Follow International Literacy Day activities as they happen on Twitter

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