All Children Reading- Celebrating International Literacy Day through innovation
What do Women of Vision, Hugh Jackman, Elmo and USAID director Raj Shah all have in common? Today they are celebrating International Literacy Day by rallying around All Children Reading, an initiative of USAID, AUSAID and World Vision. Women of Vision will be joining a group in Washington DC of people who are gathered together because as many kids this week are being packed school lunches and hurried to the bus, there are still 67,000,000 kids in the world not attending school and 39,000,000 of them are girls. Of those in school, many are not getting the education they deserve.
Education is often measured by the number of children in school. There is growing evidence that getting children into a school building is not enough, the goal needs to be literacy. 793 million adults world wide are unable to read 3 simple words. Sixty-four percent of these adults are women. The benefits of literacy are vast and go beyond the ability to learn and read.
The United Nations Education, Cultural and Social organization (UNESCO) has linked literacy to positive outcomes for poverty, child and maternal health, gender equality, preventable disease and global development. If all students in low-income countries left primary school with basic reading skills, 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty– the equivalent of a 12% drop in world poverty.
Today All Children Reading will announce 42 winners for their Grand Challenge to improve education, literacy and primary school outcomes in low-resource settings. Grant winners will be chosen based on innovation, technology and ground breaking thinking on how learning outcomes are addressed. Seven of these projects will be implemented with World Vision in World Vision area development projects. We cannot wait to see the results and significant change that can happen when people come together to have All Children Reading.