I was delighted when Viking asked me to help them celebrate International Literacy Day. International Literacy Day takes place on Friday 8th September and we can all help celebrate by sharing our love for the written word. Do you have a favourite book? Favourite quote from a book? Join the thousands this Friday and tweet to share your love for the written word. All over the world people will be celebrating this day. Perhaps your local community will be having a book fair. If you have children at school then they might be taking part in a classroom activity to raise awareness for International Literacy Day.
Why Is Literacy So Important?
Anyone that knows me will know that I am a real book worm and I am raising my two girls to love books too. I studied English Literature at University and those three years of studying the written word transported me to new worlds and opened my eyes to new experiences. Literacy is crucial to our society and International Literacy Day celebrates the international efforts to raise literacy standards around the world. Literacy really does have a massive impact on how we function as an individual. I have taught pupils who have struggled to read and write and the impact that this has had on their confidence and integration with other pupils in school is massive. It really is true when we say that being able to open a book and read will lead us to being able to open doors in life.
Being able to read means that we are able to develop our thinking and empathy skills. Reading helps us make connections with others in our community and it helps us become more creative individuals.
According to Viking’s blog it is currently estimated that there are over 780 million adults who do not know how to read or write. Being unable to read or write will impact on those adults’ chances of employment and also their ability to survive in society. International Literacy Day is helping to raise awareness so that we can help those who can’t read or write.
“Literacy is not a luxury, it is a right and a responsibility.”
― President Clinton on International Literacy Day, 1994
How We Are Celebrating International Literacy Day With Viking
Viking very kindly sent us over some goodies and asked us to get creative. The only stipulation being that we had to celebrate our love for the written word. Oldest is like me and she loves stationery and reading. However, Oldest is far better at arts and crafts than me and she might have reminded me of this when we started the Viking project. Charming! After much discussion we decided that it would be nice to make Youngest a good luck bag for starting school with some goodies that she can look at when she is feeling nervous. We decided that this was perfect as we feel very lucky that we live in a society where education is considered a human right. My two girls are able to attend school unlike,
“94-115 million children, worldwide, do not have access to education – International Literacy Day is just one way UNESCO strives to shine a spotlight on these issues and to help increase literacy around the world.” Viking Blog
Good Luck Gifts For Youngest
Youngest might not agree she is lucky though and, despite the fact she is very excited to start school, there has also been a hint of nerves too. Oldest and I discussed what to do and we decided we would like to make Youngest a quote that we can frame and then Youngest can look at the quote before she goes to sleep. The idea being that she will fall asleep all excited for school. We decided to use one of Oldest’s books that she was given when she started school – Dr Seuss, “Oh, the places you’ll go”
Now I was very excited to try the traditional quill and ink. However, as you can see, calligraphy is not my strongest point!
However, I had fun practising. We also felt the quote was perfect because it sums up how learning is like a new adventure.
You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So… get on your way!”
Good Luck Card – Christina Rossetti, The Goblin Market
Oldest then decided she wanted to make a card for her sister. Oldest loves writing poetry and we discussed her writing a poem for her sister. As we were going through my poetry collection for inspiration we came across Christina Rossetti, “The Goblin Market” and after some discussion Oldest felt part of the poem was perfect for her card to her younger sister
“For there is no friend like a sister
In calm or stormy weather;
To cheer one on the tedious way,
To fetch one if one goes astray,
To lift one if one totters down,
To strengthen whilst one stands”
I love that Oldest wanted to make a card that reassured her sister that she would still be there for her. Sisters really are the best! Oldest had lots of fun trying to write with the quill and she has told me that she wants to practise until she is perfect. Oldest then illustrated the inside of the card. Isn’t it brilliant! I love it and it might have nearly made me weep with pride. I’m not soppy, honest. I think that she did a marvellous job. By now Oldest clearly had everything under control so I was able to sit back and enjoy my Great Gatsby tea that Viking had sent me. It was just the thing for reviving me.
Roald Dahl – Matilda
We decided that we wanted to make a bag for Youngest to store all of her good luck goodies in. One of Oldest’s favourite novels is Matilda and she chose the perfect quote from Matilda. I really do think that reading is like music that washes over you. Do you agree? I helped with some of the lettering and Oldest decorated.
Finally we added two little speech bubbles. If she is feeling nervous she can clip these to her school bag or hide them in her pocket.
“Let us read, let us dance”
This is a Voltaire quote and I think it sums up the joy of reading and it is also pretty much sums up Youngest who loves dancing and she is growing to love reading.
Youngest loved it!
We packaged all our goodies and Oldest was kind enough to add her Dr Seuss book to the bag. Youngest was delighted with her goodies and Oldest patiently read and explained why she had chosen the quotes.
Oldest and I had a great time celebrating International Literacy Day and it was great going over our books and sharing our favourite stories and quotes. A lot of fun. Thanks Viking for sending us such a lovely package and for getting us creative.
Make sure you celebrate International Literacy Day on Friday 8th September.
Disclaimer – Viking gifted me these items but as always all words are my own