International Literacy Day - 8 Mahuru (September)


International Literacy Day takes place each year on 8 Mahuru (September).


Try out some of these activities to celebrate and continue to practice literacy and essential skills every day!

  1. Read a book to a child
  2. Have a child read a book to an adult
  3. Play a game of Scrabble or Boggle
  4. Look up and learn a new word in Te Reo Māori or English (and continue to do so every day for a month!)
  5. Use a new form of technology (Smartphone, self‐serve checkout, etc.)
  6. Take ten minutes to read (for enjoyment) at any time of day (or night)
  7. Write a letter to an old friend – using pen and paper, and send it in the post
  8. Take a professional development course
  9. Join a social media platform – Linked In, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  10. Share this list with friends and coworkers – and dare them to take the challenge!

*With thanks to ABC Life Literacy (Canada) for this idea.

In 2012, Bronwyn Yates, Te Tumuaki (CEO) of Literacy Aotearoa, was named as the recipient of the Inaugural International Literacy Day Award 2012 from the National Centre of Literacy and Numeracy for Adults (NCLANA).  more...

  • To see the report on how Literacy Aotearoa member providers celebrated the day, click here.

Other organisations also celebrated International Literacy Day with a variety of challenges:


Background - United Nations (UN) International Literacy Day

"On International Literacy Day each year, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) reminds the international community of the status of literacy and adult learning globally.  This day was first celebrated on September 8, 1966.

Despite many and varied efforts, literacy remains an elusive target: some 796 million adults lack minimum literacy skills which means that about one in six adults is still not literate; 67.4 million children are out-of-school and many more attend irregularly or drop out."

What do people do?

"In countries all over the world, the day raises people's awareness of and concern for literacy problems within their own communities.  Activities such as letters to the editor in newspapers, as well as news reports about the concerns for low literacy levels, have occurred as a result of this increased awareness.  Other activities include literacy day projects, particularly with regard to technology and literature, which are promoted by various organisations including reading associations."



Literacy Aotearoa
National Planning Hui
Student Writing Event


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