| Sep 08, 2010
September 8 marks the worldwide celebration of International Literacy Day. This year the celebration revolves around the theme "Literacy and Women's Empowerment." At a ceremony in Paris, UNESCO presented US$20,000 literacy prizes to programs from Cape Verde, Germany, Nepal, and Egypt. The awards ceremony was followed by the launch of the Knowledge and Innovations Network for Literacy (KINL). Created with support from Verizon Foundation and Microsoft, the Network is a virtual workplace where literacy researchers and practitioners can link up, share knowledge, and debate literacy topics online. It is scheduled to be operational beginning November 1, 2010. For further information about the UNESCO celebration of International Literacy Day, visit this UNESCO webpage.
Meanwhile, the International Reading Association joined with the Brookings Institution in an International Literacy Day celebration in Washington, DC. This event featured the presentation of the cutting-edge literacy report Early Reading: Igniting Education for All, published by RTI International on the urgency to support, especially in developing countries, accurate and timely reading assessment and teacher preparation in reading education for K-3 age groups. Visit this page on the RTI International website to access the full report.
In remarks made at the Brookings event, IRA President Patricia A. Edwards said that the new report offers valuable data on what is needed as a next step in moving education forward on a global level. "We need to focus on reading instruction," Edwards said. "The development of education policy needs to expand to include providing resources to teachers to become better teachers and to continue to measure what we are doing and its impact on the core mission of schools."
Watch for further coverage of International Literacy Day in the next issue of Reading Today.