Bermuda Reading Association, an affiliate of International Reading Association “Teaching the World to Read” celebrates Back to School and International Literacy Day.
International Literacy Day is celebrated each year on September 8 and was first observed in 1967.
The aim of International Literacy Day is to focus attention on the need to increase literacy levels worldwide.
It is estimated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) that 860 million of the world’s adults do not know how to read and write, and more than 100 million children lack access to education.
On International Literacy Day, individuals, organizations, and countries throughout the world renew their efforts to promote literacy and demonstrate their commitment to providing education for all. As part of a network of literacy organizations, The International Reading Association co-sponsors an annual celebration of International Literacy Day.
Because International Literacy Day coincides with the beginning of a new school year in many countries, classroom teachers use this day to recognize the importance of literacy in the lives of both children and adults.
The Bermuda Reading Association has selected a few key ideas that schools can use to promote International Literacy Day:
- Hold a special school assembly sharing statistical information about literacy achievement worldwide and locally, drawing awareness to the critical importance of being able to read and write.
- Invite students, parents or guests who have lived in other parts of the world to read a story or talk about classrooms in other countries.
- Ask an adult learner involved in a literacy programme to give a testimonial.
- Tap students’ creativity for ideas about how to make the community more aware of literacy issues.
- Have older students make books to share with younger students or donate to childcare centres.
- Invite a publisher to your classroom or school to discuss how books are developed.
- Read and compare folktales from different countries.
- Have students discuss their favourite books (especially books read over the summer).
- Share with parents an overview of how they can support their children in literacy at home.
- Use the entire day to read aloud favourite stories to students, demonstrating the sound of language and inviting students to engage in conversations about stories.
- Begin a school competition to see which class can read the most books over a month or longer.
- Develop professional learning communities with teachers, sharing professional readings that support better teaching practices.
- Create a monthly parent support club that will provide ongoing literacy support for parents.
The Bermuda Reading Association is hosting three events to highlight International Literacy Day that will involve parents, teachers, students and the community.
The first event is a full day institute for teachers focusing specifically on how to support boys in literacy.
Boys and literacy
Dr. Frank Serafini, will facilitate this interactive session “Boys and Literacy”, and will be specifically targeting instructional practices in the classroom using literature to motivate boys to read.
This all day institute takes place Saturday, September 3 from 9am to 3:30pm at Fairmont Southampton Hotel and costs $75.
Parents as literacy partners
The second event is a free seminar for parents of new entrants (five-year-olds) “Parents as Literacy Partners”.
The goals are to share effective strategies to best prepare young children for literacy instruction, what to ask about how children will be taught to read and write in classrooms, and what home practices will give advantages to literacy proficiency.
This free parenting seminar will be held, Thursday, September 8 at the Children’s Library from 6 to 7:30pm.
Get fit for literacy
The final event Get Fit for Literacy 5K Run/Walk will bring the community, teachers and students together running and walking to highlight the connection between healthy fitness and the ability to think and learn well.
This event is co-hosted between The Bermuda Reading Association and Swan’s Running Club on Sunday, September 11 starting at 8:30am from West Pembroke School.
Prizes of books will go towards reading programmes to the schools having the most student finishers, the most teacher finishers and the most parent/community finishers.