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International Literacy Day: Things We Take For Granted

Many who people who hear the words “International Literacy Day” immediately dismiss it because they think to themselves, “Oh, I don’t like to read, so this day doesn’t apply to me.” They confuse the words “literary” and “literacy” and overlook the importance of the events/read-a-thons/celebrations around the world. But that’s not what International Literacy Day is about. Sure, it pertains to reading, but not just to reading books.

Currently, 16% of the world’s adults are illiterate, and 2/3 of them are women (more facts here). Roughly 30 million adults in the U.S. alone read/write at or below a 5th grade level. Without being literate, there are a million things a person can’t do. Here are a few things that us lucky ones may take for granted:

  • Facebook/Twitter
  • Email/Letters
  • Job applications
  • Newspapers/Internet News
  • Books
  • Text Messaging
  • Filing Taxes
  • Performing basic job duties in most jobs
  • Grocery shopping
  • Helping kids with homework
  • Reading any of the following:
    • Medication doses
    • Directions/traffic signs
    • Mail (bills, letters from school)
    • Bedtime stories to the kids
    • Restaurant menus
    • Instructional manuals (such as an infant’s crib)

If you’re interested in helping to improve literacy rates, check out this page for some links and resources. Or click here for some neat programs that I support (new programs are coming).

Allison Hiltz
Allison is a voracious reader, Law & Order aficionado, serial napper, shark conservationist, and crazy coffee drinker. She is currently pursuing her graduate degree in Public Policy and lives in Denver, CO with her husband and two rescue dogs. She can be contacted at allison(at)thebookwheelblog(dot)com.
Allison Hiltz