50 years ago today, September 8th was officially established as International Literacy Day. Today, UNESCO celebrates their five decade long “efforts and progress made to increase literacy rates around the world” even as it “looks to innovative solutions to boost literacy in the future”. The motto of this landmark anniversary celebration is ever hopeful and inspiring: “Reading the Past, Writing the Future.”
According to the UNESCO Literacy Day webpage, the mission that this started this initiative with 50 years ago remains the same. Their purpose is to “actively mobilize the international community and to promote literacy as an instrument to empower individuals, communities, and societies.” This initiative is in direct alignment with FCLC’s own mission to lift and empower Franklin County adults through increased literacy and lifelong learning opportunities. So, of course, it is near and dear to our hearts.
In honor of International Literacy Day, actor (and UNESCO special envoy) Forest Whitaker added his own thoughts regarding the importance of increasing literacy across the world and within our own local communities. Volunteers are an invaluable part of realizing the dream of “living in a world where every man, woman, and child can write their own future.”
Without dedicated volunteers, the mission of literacy advancement would not be possible. On this auspicious day, please consider donating your time and efforts to further this worthy cause. There are countless people waiting for someone like you to help them improve the quality of their lives. For the the cost of a few hours of your week, a father can find work to support his family or a grandmother can read a story to her grandchild. Please consider contributing to the local and worldwide effort to empower communities through literacy.