The United Nations International

…developing individuals to meet the challenges of a global community

          The United Nations’ International Literacy Day falls on September 8 to raise people’s awareness of and concern for worldwide literacy. This global observance is intended to highlight the importance of literacy in key areas, such as health and education.

          According to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), about 774 million adults lack minimum literacy skills. One in five adults is still not literate and two-thirds of them are women. About 75 million children are out-of-school and many more attend irregularly or drop out.

Students in Garden County have the opportunity that many children in our world do not: attending a public school regularly and learning how to read. At the onset of a new school year, it is important for parents to commit to increasing their child’s literacy and insuring regular school attendance.

          Parents and caregivers should stop at nothing to promote reading in our community and homes! Here are some ideas to build on:

  • Make reading a daily habit by putting it in your schedule and modeling reading as adults.
  • Make sure your child has a library card and visits the library.
  • Know the books your child and their peers are reading. Ask them about the contents and why they choose them.
  • Give your child books as gifts. This portrays the timeless value of reading.
  • Read aloud to children for as long as they will listen! The discussion reading aloud can provide is invaluable.
  • Limit television and computer time. Time spent on these two activities reduces reading opportunities, plus limits creativity and conversation.
  • Play word games, such as Scrabble, that promote vocabulary in a fun way. Vocabulary knowledge preempts all other reading skills.
  • Talk about what your child is reading and how it may connect to their lives. What do they have in common with the characters? How do plots develop and conclude? Does good versus evil always prevail?
  • Ask your child what they are reading at school. If you have read the book, share your thoughts and opinions. Find out who your child’s reading teacher is and seek them out at our first conference to discuss their progress.

Whether reading for information or pleasure, the dividends yielded are incalculable. Good habits are instilled at an early age. As with all good habits, they are learned from positive role models. 

Attending school regularly is perhaps the most important thing to do in the effort to increase global literacy. Regular school attendance has huge impact on a child’s development of work ethic and commitment to lifelong learning.

Thank you for your investment of time in the area of reading and making sure your child gets to school every day! They will benefit from your commitment. Parents hold the key to their child’s likelihood of future success.


-Dr. Paula Sissel,

Superintendent/Elementary Principal