Reading—for entertainment or education—tops my list of favorite things to do. Books, blogs, bulletins, blurbs, ballads, brochures, broadcasts, blather, buzz—I love all forms of the written word.
Yet according to UNESCO, 20% of adults are illiterate. Not only are these people deprived of the joy of reading, they face incredible challenges in living productive lives. Simple tasks that most of us take for granted are incredibly difficult for someone who can’t read or write. Finding and functioning in a job may be beyond the ability of a person who is illiterate. People without literacy skills make up a large percentage of criminals and substance abusers. Illiteracy contributes to a wide variety of problems that affect the individual and society as a whole.
The situation seems overwhelming. What can one person do in the face of so much need? Decide to do something and do it.
- Learn about the importance of literacy.
- Donate used books to a local literacy organization.
- Volunteer in a literacy program, a school, a library, or other organization that promotes literacy.
- Donate books you have written or books by a favorite author to an international literacy agency.
- Spread the word about literacy.
Today, let’s celebrate literacy and vow to wipe out illiteracy.