Literacy Awareness Illinois State Library


Every year, two important literacy events occur in September that provide an opportunity to renew efforts to increase literacy levels for Illinois adults and families and to showcase the dedication, hard work, and resilience of both learners and volunteer tutors who participate in literacy programs across the state.

The first, International Literacy Day, is a global event organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Since 1967, International Literacy Day has been observed on September 8 to remind the international community of the importance of literacy for individuals, communities and societies, and the need for intensified efforts towards more literate societies. The event brings together governments; multi- and bilateral organizations; non-governmental organizations; private sectors; communities; educators; learners; and leading experts in the field.

The second event, Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, is celebrated annually in the United States during the last week in September. The goal of National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week is to elevate adult education and family literacy nationwide with policymakers, media and the community, as well as to leverage resources that support access to basic education programs for the 36 million U.S. adults with low literacy skills. For 2017, National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week will be celebrated September 24–30.

Below, the State Library's Literacy Office offers suggestions for raising awareness about the need for and value of literacy.

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