Reading is important. You need to be able to do it to get through school -- though, of course, we find workarounds if we struggle with reading. But as a student growing up, that was it. I needed to read for school (and to enjoy the awesome books included in my Sonlight studies). I never really understood what life would be like if I was illiterate.
That changed for me when I started to learn about what Mission India does, especially in our 2008 giving project. I learned that not being able to read makes it difficult to travel and easy to be scammed. You can't read signs. You can't count your change. You must rely on others. Learning the basics of reading and math opens up a whole new world of possibilities for you. That's why International Literacy Day was started.
I don't see many suggestions on the official Literacy Day page. But here are a few ideas for what your children can do today:
- Read to a younger sibling. Sharing the joy of reading with someone still learning is a great way to celebrate literacy! If your children are not yet reading, they could tell you a story based on a picture book.
- Memorize a poem. Some cultures don't have writing at all! These are communities who rely on memory to share their stories. This is often called an oral tradition.
- Create your own alphabet. Bible translators working with oral communities sometimes have to create an alphabet for the language. We already have one, but both my wife and I had fun creating our own alphabet characters in college (see if you can translate the message encoded in the image above).
- Try reading in a difference language. If you have a foreign language program, this is already a natural part of your day. You could look up your favorite Scripture passage in a different language and see if you can make sense of it.
- Pray. Pray for the millions of families around the globe who are struggling because they have not yet had a chance to learn how to read. You can learn a bit more on Mission India's page about adult literacy programs.
Lastly, I'd like to encourage you to sign up for our latest Giving Opportunity. It's not literacy focused this year, but it is a great way to get involved in something with international impact today. Join over 3,000 other children who have already signed up to be part of Off-Road Encounters!
Filmmaker, Writer, Pseudo-Dad