Great Plains College, in partnership with Southwest Literacy Committee, will be celebrating International Literacy Day (ILD) on September 8. ILD has been celebrated around the world since 1967 in an effort to emphasize the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights and to advance the literacy agenda toward a more literate, equitable and sustainable society.
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has declared “Transforming Literacy Learning Spaces” as the 2022 theme for ILD. The theme was chosen to reflect the many ways the pandemic encouraged the exploration of different learning spaces outside the formal classroom setting, including virtual learning, learning in the outdoors and learning through activities as a family.
“This year’s theme gives us an opportunity to reflect on the importance of literacy learning spaces and the diversity of those spaces so we can build resilience in our learning systems and ensure quality and inclusive education for everyone,” said Bula Ghosh, Southwest Literacy Committee member and Literacy Coordinator at Great Plains College.
In Canada, access to education and learning spaces vary depending on where you live and socio-economic status. If this inequity is not addressed, it can be detrimental to the economic stability and wellbeing of society.
“Literacy, including access to learning in all spaces, empowers people and enables them to participate fully in society,” added Ghosh. “Great Plains College works year-round to promote literacy and lifelong learning through the Adult Basic Education and English Language Training programs in particular.”
The Southwest Literacy Committee and its members offer family literacy, early years literacy and post-secondary programs to promote literacy throughout the southwest. Efforts include literacy kits that are prepared and provided to families with children aged 0-5 to establish a love for learning and reading at an early age; literacy and skills development programs, including computer skills training, provided through the Swift Current Branch Library; and the Kids First program in partnership with the Family Resource Centre using the “Play Mobile” to travel to rural communities to reach families that wouldn’t otherwise have access to resources and literacy programs.
“It’s important to support the development of literacy skills from a very young age. A culture of lifelong learning helps build healthy communities and meet the needs of a rapidly changing knowledge-based society,” said Ghosh.
Great Plains College will be celebrating ILD in different ways to create awareness and understanding about this important day. The City of Swift Current has also agreed to proclaim September 4-10, 2022 as International Literacy Week. “We are pleased that the City of Swift Current will once again proclaim International Literacy Week in our community,” added Ghosh. “We want to encourage other individuals and community agencies to participate in their own special way to encourage literacy skills development and to explore learning in non-traditional ways.”
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