Of course as a writer and avid reader, I want everyone to be able to enjoy the pleasure of reading.
But, more importantly, increased literacy reduces poverty and infant mortality. People who are illiterate are less likely to participate in the political process, giving power over their lives to others.
Among those who are not literate, more than 60% are women. Women who become literate have a powerful impact in spreading literacy in their families and communities.
ALMIGHTY God, we beseech thee, with thy gracious favour that literacy may be increased among us, and all good learning flourish and abound. Bless all who teach and all who learn; and grant that in humility of heart they may ever look unto thee, who art the fountain of all wisdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. ~ adapted from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer