International Literacy Day - September 8
(Last Updated On: November 8, 2022)


Encouraging and supporting literacy everywhere, September 8th marks International Literacy Day. The day focuses on the importance and value of literacy.

The ability to read and write isn’t only important for individuals, but societies as a whole. Some say literacy is a matter of dignity and human rights. Literacy is also an essential foundation of education. The ability to read and write even increases life expectancy.

Despite its importance, 775 million people across the globe are illiterate. About two-thirds of those who can’t read are women. There are 155 million children around the world who are currently not attending school. Lack of school attendance is a significant indicator of a child’s risk of being illiterate. The world literacy rate is at 82 percent. In most countries, the literacy rate has plateaued.

Quote mark Once you learn to read, you will be forever free. ~ Frederick Douglas

Around the world, communities, organizations, and governments celebrate literacy during Literacy Day. They also reflect upon the literacy challenges throughout the world. Globally, its recognized that higher illiteracy rates equal increased poverty levels.

The World Literacy Foundation dubbed International Literacy Day the most important day on the calendar.

HOW TO OBSERVE #InternationalLiteracyDay

One way to participate is by volunteering at your local library. There, you can read to the children, inspiring a love for books and reading. When adults read to children, it instills in them a desire to learn how to read. You could also help someone who may be struggling to learn how to read or write.

Another way to observe this day is to donate to an organization promoting literacy. The World Literacy Foundation is just one of many. Libraries accept donations as well. Consider committing to becoming a lifelong supporter of your public library.

Quote markLiteracy is a bridge from misery to hope. ~ Kofi Anan

Many people throughout history have credited reading and writing to their success. One example is Frederick Douglas, a slave who became an abolitionist and prolific writer.
Discover inspirational quotes about literacy. You could even find or make your own memes. Share them on social media with #InternationalLiteracyDay.


On October 26, 1966, UNESCO pronounced September 8th as International Literacy Day. Each year since 1967, International Literacy Day has been celebrated around the world.
In recent years, there has been a theme associated with International Literacy Day. Some of the themes have included:

  • 2006: “Literacy Sustains Development.”
  • 2013: “Literacies for the 21st Century.”
  • 2016: “Reading the Past, Writing the Future.”
  • 2017: “Literacy in a Digital World.”
  • 2019: “Literacy and Multilingualism.”

Quote markA parent or a teacher has only his lifetime; a good book can teach forever. ~ Louis L’Amour


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