Let’s face it -- most of us take reading for granted. As we sip our first cup of coffee on most mornings, we check out our favorite blogs, we read the newspaper, and we tweet something clever to the social media universe. But for 776 million people around the world, reading is a skill yet to be mastered and literacy is a concept that remains out of reach.
To remind us all of the importance of literacy, UNESCO declared September 8 as International Literacy Day and today, Twitter and Room to Read have partnered to spread awareness of this important day using the power of social media.
The unique social media campaign was launched this morning on Twitter’s Hope 140 website. Along with Twitter, we’re spreading an illegible tweet -- symbolizing how every sentence looks to the millions of people worldwide who cannot read. Users are able to decode or “read” this indecipherable tweet and also tweet out the message through www.hope140.org/literacy-day to spread the word about the importance of reading and literacy.
“We see this viral campaign as a way to draw attention to the problem of illiteracy and raise awareness for an organization that’s actually doing something about it,” said Biz Stone (@biz), co-founder of Twitter.
Beyond tweeting, Hope 140 also offers visitors other ways to directly promote literacy in the developing world. In a special campaign through the month of September, supporters will have the opportunity to invest in the publication of one of Room to Read’s locally published books for children in South Africa. The book is an original early reader story called “Unjani?” or “How Are You?” written in Xhosa and English. All donations will be matched up to $25,000, and the book will be dedicated to all our social media mavens out there. We can’t wait to show off the final product via Twitter, so donate today!
Another way to support Room to Read, for the over-21 crowd, is by purchasing Fledgling Wine, produced by Twitter and Crushpad Winery. Five dollars from the sale of every purchase of the Chardonnay and Pinot will benefit Room to Read’s literacy programs in India.
On behalf of the entire Room to Read family, Happy International Literacy Day -- we appreciate all your help to do something about it and spread the word!
See all the links below for the quick ways you can help:
TWEET out the International Literacy Day tweet.
POST the tweet as your Facebook status and join our awareness fan page.
INVEST in the publication of a new children's book for South Africa.
LEARN more about this initiative through the press release.