* Literacy is one of the UNESCO's Millenium Development Goals?
* The UN declared 2003-2012 to be the “Literacy Decade”?
* Literacy is fundamental to the growth and development of individuals and nations?
Improving literacy skills isn't just for developing nations.
When we think about literacy initiatives, we think about people who are “illiterate”
Since 1991, a number of countries have been participating in the International Adult Literacy Skills Survey (IALSS). Results indicate that 40% of Canadians don't have the level of literacy they require to cope effectively with the increasing literacy demands of daily life. Four in ten. Two in five. I'll wait here while you digest that little nugget.
If your literacy skills aren't automatic, you have 2 jobs whenever you encounter words and/or numbers. Your first job is to expend a significant amount of effort decoding the message. Only then can you take the time to work out what the information means and how you might use it. Those in our communities who struggle with literacy often don't get to the message, because it's taken so much effort to even try to read it. Many who have spent a significant amount of time with low literacy skills have given up trying – because when people struggle with litearcy there's a social stigma. People with low literacy skills believe themselves to be less worthy than other people. Like any other skill, literacy falls into the “if you don't use it, you lose it” category and so the problem gets worse.
Call to Social Action: Help Raise Awareness Using Social Media
Social media provides us with a win-win tool for raising awareness of literacy! Learning and using new online tools helps you develop and maintain your own literacy skills.
If you're not already using the microbloggin tool Twitter, now is the time! If you're new to Twitter, head to www.Twitter.com. Twitter is a microblogging tool that allows us to exchange information with people in 140 characters or fewer. Because Tweets are short, you'll notice the use of some short-hand. A number are included in this Tweet:
International Literacy Day is September 8. We're planning a global TweetFest. FMI check out htpp://bit.ly/
Tweet-fest: There are variations like Tweet-up (people tweet about a meeting date, time and location) and Twestival which is similar but monies are raised for charitable causes. The International Literacy Day event encourages people to tweet about the importance of any aspect of literacy to their every day lives.
FMI: For more information.
Short URL (htpp:/bit.ly/
#ILD: Pronounced “hashtag I-L-D”. This is the hastag acronym being promoted for the International Literacy Day Project. Good hashtags are short and easy to remember. The hashtags are like search words – include the #ILD hashtag so people can find and display your tweet.
Pls: Short-hand for “please”.
RT: Short-hand for “re-tweet”
Using the Hashtag to Find Relevant Information
On the Twitter homepage (www.Twitter.com)
A hashtag consists of the numeral character (#) followed by a short word or acronym and is usually appended to the end of a message.
On International Literacy Day, you can help raise awareness of literacy by taking one or both of the following actions:
* Tweet about one way that your literacy skills have improved your life. Don't forget the #ILD hashtag.
* If you have access to AV equipment and an audience on September 8, set up a place where people can watch and participate in the #ILD Project. You only need a way to display the Twitter.com search results for #ILD.
The ability to learn and use Twitter demonstrates your technological literacy. When you tweet about how literacy is important to your life, you might just be contributing that one last snippet of support that convinces someone to look into becoming an adult literacy learner or volunteer.
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Elizabeth Campbell Duke tweets as @CampbellDuke in the Comox Valley of British Columbia, Canada. Through CampbellDuke Personal Branding, she empowers job hunters, career changers and solopreneurs to follow their dreams. Find out more about the International Literacy Day Project at www.CampbellDuke.com..