USAID Celebrates International Literacy Day
Transforming Literacy Learning Spaces
USAID recognizes and celebrates International Literacy Day on September 8. The day was first recognized in 1967 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to focus on, and combat, global illiteracy. It serves as a reminder to the world that literacy and foundational skills are vital to human rights and social progress.
This year’s theme is Transforming Literacy Learning Spaces: Building resilience and ensuring quality, equitable, and inclusive education for all.
Literacy rates have risen significantly since the first international literacy day, yet vulnerable and marginalized children have significantly lower literacy rates. That is why USAID is committed to disability inclusive education. During the 2022 Global Disability Summit, USAID renewed its commitment to inclusive education starting in pre-school through higher education, and will continue to provide staff and partners with the tools necessary to implement disability inclusive education.
Here is a list of resources to help foster literacy and reading programs.
1. Improving Systems for Reading Instruction
Reading serves as the foundation for academic success. Designing high-quality programs that teach reading is essential. USAID’s Reading MATTERS tool highlights seven components critical to fostering reading acquisition for all.
2. The Importance of Language of Instruction
Teaching children in a language they use and understand—including sign language—can strengthen and support a child’s literacy skills. This resource examines two tools that address language issues in programs and policies: the Reading MATTERS Conceptual Framework and the Handbook on Language of Instruction Issues in Reading Programs.
3. The Importance of Accessible Learning Materials
Children with diverse learning styles often face barriers to education, which can create delays in literacy acquisition. This resource examines the types of materials—textbooks, interactive games, and assistive devices—that can be used to create an inclusive learning environment. USAID and its partners developed the Universal Design for Learning to Help All Children Read toolkit which offers guidance on the accessibility of learning materials for all learners, including learners with disabilities.
4. The Global Book Alliance
The Global Book Alliance (GBA) is a partnership of donor agencies, multilateral institutions, and civil society organizations that are committed to bringing books to every child in the world by 2030. The GBA provides access to valuable resources, such as the Global Digital Library, an open-source library with learning materials in 100+ languages, and information on how to strengthen book supply chains to get books in the hands of learners.