The UN marks the day this year by noting that "Literacy is a cause for celebration since there are now close to four billion literate people in the world." We are also nearing the end of the UN's Literacy Decade, proclaimed for 2003-2012, with the ambitious goal of "education for all." With the close of Literacy Decade approaching, UNESCO informs us that today one in five adults is still not literate.
For those of us living in a "developed nation," this statistic may seem foreign, and far-removed from our daily life. However, Washington, D.C. closely mirrors the global adult illiteracy rate, with 19% of adults functioning at a below-basic reading level, according to a 2009 estimate (compared to an estimated 14% nationally).
Over at D.C. LEARNs' Literacy Blog, they are marking this September 8th by asking to hear what International Literacy Day mean to you. Those of you who have helped to support the work of Academy of Hope, and other adult education efforts, have (knowingly or unknowingly) had a role in Literacy Decade. We hope you will use this day to celebrate your efforts, and to let others know why "education for all" is important to you.