By Ellina Kushnir, Rotary Programs staff
Despite rising literacy rates for youth and adults, 897 million people around the world are still illiterate* and 57 million children of primary school age are not in school. In March, Rotary Literacy Month, let’s reaffirm our commitment to meet basic education and literacy needs locally and abroad.
Here are just a few examples of how we’re helping improve education around the world:
- The Rotary Club of Tachia Centennial, Taiwan, helps children foster a love for learning and reading by donating books to children from birth to age five. The Taichung City Education Bureau advises on which books to distribute through the Bookstart project. More than 130 families have already participated in this program.
- Focused on improving reading comprehension and an appreciation for books, the Rotary Club of Nassau Sunrise, Bahamas, launched a reading time initiative at a community preschool. Every week, club members read and mentor students and cultivate the children’s appreciation for books.
While global literacy rates are on the rise, there’s still much to be done. Looking for projects to support?
- The Rotary Club of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, is seeking assistance to support a mobile library in remote regions of the country. The library is operated by a librarian and a volunteer assistant. Each mobile library circulates around ten communities throughout the week. In addition to providing community members access to books, the librarian also leads reading and storytelling activities. About 1,000 people benefit from this program every month.
- The Rotary Club of Grand Cayman-Sunrise, Cayman Islands, is seeking partners to help support a local Leveled Literacy Intervention program. Students improve reading skills by participating in this program after school four to five days a week for up to 18 weeks.
Throughout the month of March, check back here for tips, resources, and inspirational success stories to help you plan your own literacy projects. Add your voice to the conversation using the commenting feature below and share how your club supports basic education and literacy initiatives on Rotary Showcase.
*United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) June 2013 figures
- Rotary’s Area of Focus Guide
- Rotary Showcase
- Rotary Ideas
- Literacy Project Guide
- Taking on a Literacy Project (recorded webinar)
- Rotary staff Mary Jo Jean-Francios, Area of Focus Manager for Basic Education & Literacy
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