Many of us don’t spend much time thinking about how literacy affects our life, but maybe we should…
Imagine being one of the nearly 796 million people worldwide who lacks the ability to read or write. It would make deciphering the contents of an employment ad, taking the proper dosage of medication and filling out a ballot form all nearly impossible.
The bad news is that most of those 796 million people live in developing countries, where access to a quality education can be extremely limited, so their children and grandchildren are likely to continue in the same path. The good news is that doesn’t have to be the case.
International Literacy Day is September 8, and Room to Read will be celebrating all month long by spreading awareness and raising funds to fight illiteracy in the developing world. Here are three things you can do to help:
- Make a donation. Thanks to our partner, Better World Books, all gifts to our library program in September will be matched up to $40,000. That means that your gift and all others like it will have twice the impact!
- Spare 140 characters. In today’s world, information travels fast…if you can read it, that is. Help give the twittersphere a taste of what a world without literacy would look like by tweeting an “illiterate” message to your followers with the hashtag #RTforLiteracy. For each tweet, Random House, Inc. will donate $1 to our programs (up to $30,000).
- Educate yourself. Watch an interactive video about global illiteracy (produced in partnership with Credit Suisse's Global Education Initiative), or read about our work in Asia and Africa in our most recent newsletter. Then go out and spread the word!
And don’t forget to celebrate your own right to read this month. Take the time to curl up with a good book, and remember what it is that made you love reading so much in the first place.
Inspired to do more? Learn how to start your own fundraising campaign for Room to Read.