How Has Literacy Empowered You? – International Literacy Day 2017

Photos from last year’s International Literacy Day

On Friday, September 8th the world will join together to celebrate the importance of literacy and reading on International Literacy Day. International Literacy Day is a day created by UNESCO to raise awareness about literacy and what being literate can mean for a person and a community.

For the last 3 years, The Literacy Cooperative has been celebrating International Literacy Day with a social media campaign. Each year we pick a theme and ask everyone in Northeast Ohio, as well as our followers on our social media platforms, to post pictures around that theme. We use your pictures and posts to help raise awareness about the importance of literacy.

We have spent most of 2017 raising awareness about the power of words. Since March we have been promoting and raising awareness about the 30 Million Word Gap. The 30 Million Word Gap states that children in low-income families will have heard 30 million fewer words by age 4 than their more affluent peers. (

Speaking, reading and singing are essential actions to build a baby’s brain. The power of words never fades. Literacy and the skills learned as a child only grow as a child grows. Literacy becomes more and more important as a child becomes an adult.

That is why this year our theme for International Literacy Day is “How has literacy empowered you?” We are asking people to share how being literate has helped their life. Has literacy empowered you to find a voice you never had before? Or has it given you courage or determination to overcome challenges in your life?

On September 8th, share a picture of yourself with a sign displaying a word or phrase about how literacy has empowered you or a picture of you reading and a word or phrase about the power of literacy in your post. We ask that you post the pictures and explanations to your social media platforms with #powerofwordsCLE.

We want to use a day dedicated to the importance of literacy to show the world how words empower us every day. We take for granted the number of words we know and hear day in and day out. By raising awareness about the power of literacy we can help people understand why speaking, reading and singing with children is so important.

We will be posting on our social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, all day on Friday September 8th. We will be sharing and commenting on posts throughout the day. We hope you will join us for this very important celebration. We hope to see #powerofwordsCLE trending to show the world that Cleveland understands the power of literacy and words.