Celebrating International Literacy Day

When: 8 Sep 2022

Thursday, 8 September is UNESCO International Literacy Day (ILD). Celebrated worldwide this year under the theme ‘Transforming Literacy Learning Spaces’ the day is “a valuable opportunity to rethink the importance of literacy learning spaces to build resilience and ensure quality, equitable, and inclusive education for all.”[1]

Transforming literacy learning spaces imagines learning beyond the classroom setting – in a post-Covid world this rethink is vital to ensuring those most vulnerable have access to literacy education as a matter of human rights.

To fully engage in literacy, all children need opportunities – to apply their learning in different environments, to be connected to the right supports, and to benefit from a variety of resources.

It’s shocking to note that disadvantaged schools in Australia have fewer educational materials (books, facilities, laboratories) than high socio-economic schools, and this gap is the third largest in the OECD.  Achieving quality, equitable, and inclusive education for all in Australia is, therefore, heavily dependent on education charities, like Ardoch, to fill such a large gap.

Ardoch’s literacy-based programs in communities facing disadvantage is helping to build strong literacy skills – from early childhood to upper primary – in fun and interactive ways, ensuring children have a range of engaging experiences to learn from.

This International Literacy Day we’re celebrating the important connections being made that help foster a lifelong love of literacy and learning.

Book launch for budding authors

Grade 1/2 students from Glengala Primary School are marking International Literacy Day with the launch of their very own picture book, produced with author and long-term Ardoch supporter, Emma Bowd.

Over several weeks, as part of Ardoch’s Writer in Residence program, Emma has been working with the class to brainstorm, write, illustrate and eventually publish the picture book, The Very Sleepy Spider and The Exercising Dinosaur.

“I could not think of a better way to celebrate ILD than with the children at Glengala Primary School and the wonderful folk from the children’s education charity Ardoch (who work tirelessly to provide literacy programs to our most vulnerable children),” Emma shared on Instagram.

The creation of this incredibly unique piece of fiction is the result of careful collaboration, exploring ideas, nurturing creativity and celebrating literature and literacy as an artform.

“I hope that by ‘holding my hand’ throughout the whole story-writing process, the students have gained some useful insights into the craft of writing, which they can confidently take with them throughout their school years,” says Emma in her author’s reflection.

“I wish the Year1/2 students well as they continue their literacy journey and hope that The Very Sleepy Spider and The Exercising Dinosaur will always hold a special place in their hearts.”

Literacy by the letter

We now have multiple Literacy Buddies programs up and running around the country, providing opportunities for primary school-aged children to practice letter writing and connect with adult role models.

In celebration of International Literacy Day, many buddy visits are taking place at schools in various states with big buddies making the journey to meet their little buddies in person.

We love seeing the letter exchanges and how much confidence grows between the buddies (big and little!) as the exchanges progress.

Take a glimpse into the wonderful letter-writing world of Literacy Buddies below:

Handwritten letterHandwritten letter

The exciting first introductions!

Handwritten letterHandwritten letter

After the first meeting!

Being a Literacy Buddy is such a rewarding experience. Find out more about how you can implement a Literacy Buddy program through Workplace Volunteering.

[1] https://www.unesco.org/en/days/literacy-day