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Support the Wonder of Storytelling and Reading

This year the Royal Dublin Society (RDS) awarded student Laura Dowling the 2010 Taylor Award for her video animation, Storytellers of Ireland. As Laura takes us through an atmospheric scene populated by characters from many tales, she writes that stories were invented “to answer the great unanswerable questions.” She notes the wonder and mystery of storytelling, that power of a great tale or legend “to bring a hush to a room, a catch to the breath, a leap to the curious heart.” In support of this idea we encourage you to celebrate storytelling and reading at every opportunity!


A Statement About Early Literacy

Beginning in pre-school and continuing through the primary grades, we must include language activities that develop listening and expressive skills. Such activities include:

  • listening to stories, poems and expository text
  • telling and retelling stories and nursery rhymes
  • singing and chanting (including the alphabet song)
  • discussing word meanings, ideas, books and experiences
  • making predictions about words and stories

These activities develop understanding of vocabulary, syntax, and story structure in all children. They are especially important for English language learners and for children who do not come from homes where literacy is nurtured.

Parents should be enlisted to support the development of their child's reading skills by:

  • reading to their child
  • listening to their child read
  • discussing what has been read

This home-school connection should be supported by schools and teachers through regular communications with parents about classroom activities and expectations. Materials should be sent home for parents to read with their children.


The National African American Read-In Month (USA)

February 1st - February 28th

Sponsored by the Black Caucus of NCTE and by NCTE

In the spirit of celebration of February as Black History Month in the USA, The Global Literacy Project, Inc. continues to endorse the National African American Read-In Chain.

The African American Read-In chain has been successful in making reading a traditional part of Black History Month celebrations throughout the USA.  Sponsored nationally by the National Council of Teachers of English and endorsed by the International Reading Association, the intent of this national literacy campaign is to popularize reading as an essential, fun, and productive practice that will last a lifetime.

This endorsement asks that school libraries, community centers and other partners of GLP are urged to make literacy a significant part of February by hosting and coordinating Read-Ins in their communities. Hosting a Read-In can be as simple as bringing together friends to share a book, or as elaborate as arranging public readings and media presentations that feature professional African American writers.

To be counted as participants, simply:

  • Select books authored by African Americans;
  • Conduct your Read-In(s); and
  • Report your results by submitting the 2010 African American Read-In Host Report Card.

Download Information packet here

Host Report Card

We extend our thanks to Dr. Sandra E. Gibbs of the National Council of Teachers of English who first introduced GLP to this event!


International Mother Language Day
February 21st

The majority of the world's population speak two or more languages, and "mother language" is the one they learnt first. Languages play an important role in the integration process in all aspects of public life but especially education.

Education in many countries of the world takes place in multilingual contexts and so such societies must look towards a philosophy which balances and respects the use of different languages in daily life.

The United Nations' (UN) International Mother Language Day is annually held on February 21 to celebrate languages spoken worldwide. It also observes the human right to use these languages.


World Storytelling Day
March 20/21, 2011

kids being read to

This celebration is a global celebration of the art of oral storytelling (often the first day of Spring). As many people as possible tell and listen to stories in as many languages and at as many places as possible, during the same day and night.

The 2011 theme is: WATER

World Poetry Day
March 21st

World Poetry Day is a time to appreciate and support poets and poetry around the world. It is held on March 21 each year and is an initiative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The day also focused on promoting a return to the oral tradition of poetry recitals, as well as strengthening the association between poetry and other forms of expression, such as dance, music, and painting.

SPECIAL INITIATIVES: April 23rd-May 21st

World Book Day
April 23rd

World Book Day was designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and is marked in over 100 countries around the globe. A main aim of World Book Day is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own. For international information about World Book Day click HERE and HERE.

"Read Globally, Act Locally"
April 23rd-May 21st

(A Global Literacy Project, Inc. Initiative)

Every April/May, the Global Literacy Project mobilizes students, teachers and parents to read stories from around the world. They're then encouraged to use these stories as a way to reflect upon how actions in their local community can lead to positive change at the global level. "Read Globally, Act Locally" global citizenship commendations recognize outstanding students who advocate for the UN's "Education for All" goals by making presentations to community leaders.

These activities often utilize stories written by students and volunteers from our various participating clusters. We encourage schools to invite local political representatives to see and hear about how literacy has the power to connect people from around the planet!

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
May 21st

The Day provides us with an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to learn to “live together” better. People around the world are asked to promote greater awareness of the crucial relationship between culture and development and the important role of information and communication technologies in this relationship. MORE>>


Teacher Appreciation Day

(Part of Teacher Appreciation Week; Observed during the first week of May in the USA)

May 4th, 2010

Teacher Appreciation Day is an event that has the potential to unite a class – pupils working together on a special teacher appreciation project will form a team building bond whilst showing their appreciation for their teachers...

"A day in the life of a child is incomplete... without a teacher!"

International Literacy Day

September 8th

International Literacy Day 2009 Poster

Literacy and Empowerment is the theme for the 2009-2010 biennium of the United Nations Literacy Decade.

Literacy and Empowerment for all: children and adults, girls and boys, women and men, families and communities, rural and urban, in and out of school, in countries in the South and in the North.

Related Information

UNESCO Web Site for International Literacy Day

The UNESCO Courrier on International Literacy Day

In its resolution A/RES/56/116, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the ten year period beginning 1 January 2003 the United Nations Literacy Decade.

GLP agrees with the understanding that literacy is not only a positive outcome of development processes but also a lever of change and an instrument for achieving further social progress. More...

This day and at events throughout the week, focuses attention on worldwide literacy issues and needs.

Progress is being made, but slowly. Because International Literacy Day coincides with the beginning of a new school year in many countries, classroom teachers can use this special day to recognise the importance of literacy in the lives of children and adults.

See GLP's Celebration of ILD!


World Teachers Day
October 5th

World Teachers’ Day, held annually on October 5th since 1994 - when it was created by UNESCO - celebrates teachers worldwide and their enormous contribution to learning and social development. Teachers are the heart of the education system. Human civilizations cannot sustain themselves without investment in training and measures to promote respect for the teaching profession.

Celebrating World Teacher's Day

A number of countries have celebrations to celebrate teachers with the new school year in September. In China, the day is celebrated on September 10. In India, September 5 is the day set aside to recognize the special contributions made by teachers. Throughout Latin America, September 11 is Teacher's Day.

For the official UNESCO statement and event, please click here.


Int'l School Library Month


(Celebrate with GLP at our "Walk for Literacy")

"Literacy and Learning at your School Library"

The aim is to celebrate school libraries and to highlight the importance of school library programs in the education of our children (From 2008, International School Library Day will be celebrated throughout the world on the first Monday in October).

Research shows that student achievement increases with access to school libraries with well-funded curriculum-based collections, strong school library programs, and professionally qualified teacher-librarians who work collaboratively with classroom teachers. In addition, students become better readers when the have access to a school library and books to read.  Specifically:

  1. students get a large portion of their reading materials from libraries
  2. students read more when they have a comfortable place to read
  3. free voluntary reading has an impact on reading comprehension, vocabulary, spelling ability, grammar usage and writing style
  4. access to books and magazines predicts higher reading achievement
  5. an ample supply of books is key to the fostering of independent and engaged readers, particularly second language learners
  6. students who read more typically have higher literacy development as well as higher student achievement
  7. standardized scores tend to be 10 to 20% higher in schools with an investment of well-stocked, well-equipped school libraries, managed by qualified and motivated pro­fessional teacher-librarians working with support staff.

Many of the research studies can be found on the International Association of School Librarianship's webpage "School Libraries Make A Difference To Student Achievement,"


National Day on Writing (USA)
October 20th

People in every walk of life, in every kind of work, and at every age write more than ever before for personal, professional, and civic purposes.

In light of the significance of writing in our national life, to draw attention to the remarkable variety of writing we engage in, and to help writers from all walks of life recognize how important writing is to their lives, October 20, 2010, will be celebrated as The National Day on Writing.  The National Day on Writing will

  • celebrate the foundational place of writing in Americans' personal, professional, and civic lives. 
  • point to the importance of writing instruction and practice at every grade level, for every student and in every subject area from preschool through university
  • emphasize the lifelong process of learning to write and composing for different audiences, purposes, and occasions. 
  • recognize the scope and range of writing done by the American people and others.
    honor the use of the full range of media for composing. 
  • encourage Americans to write and enjoy and learn from the writing of others.

What is the National Gallery of Writing?

The National Gallery is a digital archive of compositions accessible to all through a free, searchable website—a living archive of thousands of examples of writing from across the United States.

  • Each writer of any age or occupation will be able to submit one composition per gallery. 
  • Writers will include with their composition information about themselves and the reasons they selected and submitted it to the Gallery.  
  • All sorts of compositions will be accepted, including (but not limited to) electronic presentations, blog posts, documentary clips, poetry readings, “how to” directions, short stories, memos, audio and video clips.


National Family Literacy Day
November 1st

National Family Literacy Day, celebrated across the U.S., focuses on special activities and events that showcase the importance of family literacy programs. First held in 1994, the annual event is officially celebrated on November 1st, but many events are held throughout the month of November. Schools, libraries, and other literacy organizations participate through read-a-thons, celebrity appearances, book drives, and more.

For this event GLP volunteers will be involved with a variety of activities including taking advantage of Halloween "Trick or Treat" events in order to give away thousands of books to children along with an information brochure to their parents. Here is our main web page on Family Literacy>>.

You may help distribute information about family literacy using these resources from the Department of Education website: Shining Stars; and our GLP handout is here: LINK>>


International Day for Tolerance
November 16th

The International Day for Tolerance is a time for people to learn about respecting and recognizing the rights and beliefs of others. It is also a time of reflection and debate on the negative effects of intolerance. Live discussions and debates take place across the world on this day, focusing on how various forms of injustice, oppression, racism and unfair discrimination have a negative impact on society.

Many educators use the theme of this day to help students in classrooms or in lecture theatres understand issues centered on tolerance, human rights and non-violence. Images of people of all backgrounds, cultures and ages, which are assembled into a collage, are also used for the International Day for Tolerance to get the message across to people about understanding tolerance regardless of differences.


World Philosophy Day
Third Thursday of November

World Philosophy Day 2010World Philosophy Day is annually observed on the third Thursday of November to honor philosophical reflections around the world. It is an opportunity to make philosophical reflection accessible to all (professors and students, scholars and the general public, the young and the less young), thereby enlarging the opportunities and spaces for the stimulation of critical thinking and debate. on this day people should share thoughts, openly explore and discuss new ideas and inspire public debate or discussion on society’s challenges.

World Philosophy Day will take place this year on 18 November 2010. The theme this year is "Philosophy, cultural diversity and rapprochement of cultures."

For more information use this LINK>>

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