International Literacy Day 2021

Jack Keery

​​​​​​​A Humankind service in Merseyside have been actively helping their residents with literacy skills.

Lesley Campbell and Jennifer Ogden from Sefton Homeless Services have recently refurbished a meeting room on site to include a dedicated lending library and reading area which residents can use if they need a nice, quiet and comfortable space away from their own flats.

Residents use this space to read, reflect and even write poetry or use adult colouring books as a way of clearing their minds and to have some “Me Time”. This can often be useful before or after key sessions to allow them to relax.

Since 1967, International Literacy Day (ILD) celebrations have taken place annually around the world to remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights, and to advance the literacy agenda towards a more literate and sustainable society.

Today, we celebrate, encourage and empower our residents, clients and staff to strengthen their own literacy skills. That can be something simple like making time to read a much-loved book or even taking those first steps in learning to read and write.

International Literacy Day provides an opportunity to reflect on and discuss how innovative and effective teaching methodologies can be used in youth and adult literacy programmes to face the pandemic and beyond. It also provides an opportunity to analyse the role of educators, as well as effective policies, systems, governance and measures that can support educators and learning.​​​​​​​

Further support and information for adult literacy

  • Visit the gov.uk site for improving your English skills, or call the National Careers Service helpline on 0800 100 900.
  • If the adult is employed and has access to a union, their union learning representative will be able to provide confidential advice. Information is on the Union Learn website.
  • You could also contact a local adult education college directly for information on courses, or your local library can provide support such as appropriate reading materials and reading groups.
  • Adults can also get literacy support in their role as parents, through family learning activity provided by colleges, libraries, schools and other organisations. Being able to become more involved in their children’s learning can be a powerful motivator to adults to improve their literacy skills.
  • Read Easy recruits, trains and supports volunteers to give one-to-one tuition to adults who struggle with reading.
  • The Learning and Work Institute aims to improve access to learning for adults.
  • The Reading Agency provides a number of free resources to help improve adult reading skills.
  • Learn Direct provides online courses and a network of learning centres. Call 0800 101 901 for advice and information on their adult literacy courses.
  • English My Way is a resource for tutors who support and teach adults with no or low levels of English, providing free teaching resources and tools to manage classes.

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