Today the world observes the 50th anniversary of International Literacy Day, which was initiated by UNESCO in 1966. The 2016 theme, “Reading the Past, Writing the Future,” reflects the emphasis on literacy in Goal 4 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.
Sustainable Development Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning
In observance of International Literacy Day 2016, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova has announced the launch of the Global Alliance for Literacy:
Literacy is essential to success across the board. A foundation for human rights and dignity, literacy is vital for poverty eradication, for gender equality, for more inclusive and sustainable societies. This is why we launch today the Global Alliance for Literacy, to mobilize investment and promote innovative initiatives, with a focus on gender and new information and communication technologies. We must seize every opportunity — we must work across all sectoral boundaries.
Adult Education and Family Literacy Week provides an opportunity to reflect on the many ways that adult education programs strengthen and enrich their communities. Take some time during the week of September 26-30 to learn more about a program in your neighborhood.
Quick read about adult literacy: 2016-08_AEFL-Flyer
A powerful infographic on the divide between those who have attended college and those who have not, from the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University.
“Out of the 11.6 million jobs created in the post-recession economy, 11.5 million went to workers with at least some college education.”
The National Coalition for Literacy has designated September 21-26, 2015 as National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week. According to the Coalition,
National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week raises public awareness of adult education and family literacy, assists adult learners in need of literacy services, leverages local resources, and supports increased access to adult education and family literacy programs. Advocates across the country use this opportunity to elevate adult education and family literacy nationwide with policymakers, the media, and the community.
AEFL Week is supported by resolutions in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.
The Coalition provides links to activities, resources, and information on its AEFL Week Resources page.
Minnesota Adult Basic Education has a YouTube channel where they are posting a series of Hot Ideas videos on Why ABE Matters. In the six 30-minute videos, adult ed professionals give TED-Talk-like presentations based in their experience working with adults who are developing literacy and English language skills. The videos are informative and powerful — definitely worth watching.
The videos all build on the fundamental understanding expressed by Jodi Versaw: “I believe ABE matters because education is a human right.”
View the videos on the MN ABE YouTube channel