Since 1966, UNESCO has declared September 8th International Literacy Day. They point to the importance of literacy in ending poverty, reducing child mortality, combating overpopulation, and giving rise to gender equality and sustainable development. “Literacy,” says UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova, “is much more than an educational priority – it is the ultimate investment in the future…”
If you’re looking for a way to effect meaningful change, literacy is a great place to get started. Here are a few opportunities currently listed on Idealist.org:
- Reading is FUNdamental in Pittsburgh is looking for a Storymobile Program Director to manage bi-weekly visits from a library-on-wheels that engages low-income families and children in their own neighborhoods and community centers, fostering a multi-generational, long term love of reading. They’re also looking for interns, so be sure to take a look at all the ways you can get involved.
- The Telling Room, a nonprofit writing center in Portland, ME, encourages creative expression to build literacy skills. They need a part-time Grant Writer and publishing, program, and development interns.
- If you’re looking for a creative way to spread literacy and you love animals, look no further than SitStayRead. They improve literacy skills and encourage a love of learning by introducing a dog-themed curriculum with actual dogs in the classroom. They’ve found it’s engaging, fun, and it works! They’re looking for a Program Leader right now, and they have a dog-friendly happy hour event coming up on September 12th!
- Reading Partners in Oakland, CA provides children one-on-one reading support, and on average, Reading Partners students gain 1.6 months of reading skills for every month in the program. They’re hiring positions across the country. And CityYear brings mentors to public schools to make sure students in under-resourced areas are on track to graduate. They’ve also got some incredible opportunities to make a huge impact.
- The Braille Institute of America focuses on helping people who are blind regain and maintain their independence. They’re hiring four people in Los Angeles!
- If you’re looking for a volunteer opportunity, The Minnesota Literacy Council needs volunteer ESL Classroom Assistants and Literacy Volunteers of Charlottesville/Albemarle in Virginia needs tutors.
- This year’s Literacy Day theme is “Literacies for the 21st Century,” so don’t forget about computer literacy! If you’re in Hillsborough, NC, volunteer to teach incarcerated men computer skills or, if you’re in Seattle, you can volunteer teaching computer literacy to East African immigrants and refugees.
Organizations everywhere are putting the spotlight on literacy as the most important way to solve the world’s most difficult issues. Whether you’re volunteering or looking for a change in your career, there are endless ways to get involved. Take a look at all the other opportunities on Idealist.org.