May of us who know how to read and write take these capabilities for granted. Sadly, this is not the case for millions of people around the world, many of them Muslims. International Literacy Day is a day dedicated by UNESCO to raising awareness of the importance of literacy.
I think it is wonderful that this year, International Literacy Day which is on September 8th, occurs during Ramadan. It provides an excellent opportunity to promote literacy and understanding of Islam at the same time.
Here are some ways to observe this day:
- Read a book – Teachers can read-aloud a book about Islam (maybe depicting Muslims observing the month of Ramadan) to their class . Alternatively, parents of Muslim children in public schools can take some books, magazines and photographs about Islam to a class for students to browse.
- Go Global – have older children look at how an event or issue affecting Muslims is covered/reported by various newspapers (print or online) around the world.
- Author/Publisher Visit – Invite an author of Muslim children’s books (fiction or nonfiction) to your school or weekend school to talk about his/her experience writing a book. A publisher on the other hand, can explain the process of how books are made.
- Make books – have older children at home or in the classroom make books to share with younger children/students.
These sites share a few more ideas:
UPDATE: Please visit The Book Chook for to read a really beautiful post about why we should reflect on what literacy means.