Today is International Literacy Day. According to the International Reading Association website:
International Literacy Day, traditionally observed annually on September 8, focuses attention on worldwide literacy needs. More than 780 million of the world’s adults (nearly two-thirds of whom are women) do not know how to read or write, and between 94 and 115 million children lack access to education.
What can you do to celebrate International Literacy Day?
- Support a literacy organization by following them on Twitter or Facebook, blogging about them, or donating time or money. A few ideas: RIF, Reach Out and Read, First Book, Everybody Wins!, NCFL, the Reading Tub, CLIF, Paper Tigers, Free the Children, Better World Books, Raising a Reader, and Room to Read.
- Read with a child, or with an adult who has trouble reading.
- Download the new issue of Literacy Lava, an online magazine dedicated to family literacy activities.
- Preorder A Family of Readers: The Book Lover's Guide to Children's and Young Adult Literature, by Horn Book Magazine editors Roger Sutton and Martha V. Parravano (Candlewick). This book is about choosing books for kids, and nurturing a love of reading. I haven't seen it yet, but there are some excerpts in this month's Horn Book Magazine, and it looks like a winner.
I'd also like to share my own domestic literacy milestone. This week my daughter, Baby Bookworm, turned her first pages of a book. She's five months old (a bit less than three months when corrected for prematurity). If I prop up a board book next to her when she's lying on her back, one with relatively thin pages, she'll bat at the pages a bit. And if she happens to get a page to turn, she'll push it further, so that she can see the illustrations better. It seems to be intentional, though I could of course be projecting. Her favorite titles for this activity are:
- Little Duck Says Quack by Judy Dunn and Phoebe Dunn. Random House. This is a photo essay with a very brief story about a duck, from egg to birth to growing up and meeting his "special friend." There's a sound button to make the duck quack. BB LOVES it! She smiles every time she hears the quacking. And she likes the illustrations. I think it's the fact that it's photos - they really catch her eye. I received this from Random House along with the similar Little Puppy Says Woof. She doesn't care for that one as much.
- Animal Soup by Todd H. Doodler. Golden Books. Review copy from Random House. This book features mixed-up combinations of animals. Like Tiger + Rhinocerous = Tigerocerous. Each two page spread has pictures of two animals, with a fact about each. When you lift a big flap, it tells you the name of each animal, and then shows the combined animal. BB isn't that into the combined versions, or the lifting the flaps (I think she's just figured out that pages turn left and right - lifting up is confusing). But she laughs and coos at the colorful, cartoon-like illustrations of the regular animals. She especially likes the flamingo.
What are you going to do to celebrate International Literacy Day in your household?