Celebrating International Literacy Day

International Literacy Day is September 8th. It became an official holiday celebrated around the world in 1967 as a way to work towards creating a more literate society.

This holiday can be celebrated by everyone in the community, and doesn’t have to only be for one day either. It could become a week long or month long celebration.

Below are ways International Literacy Day can be celebrated around the community, school building and in the classroom itself.

literacy dayCelebrate in the Community

One way to build partnership with the community is to expand your school wide initiatives by inviting the community to join in on the fun. Be clear on how the community can celebrate and share that information on social media and on bulletin boards in local businesses.

Ideas for how to celebrate include:

    • Stock up free neighborhood lending libraries with books
    • Read outdoors with family and friends
    • Visit literacy based businesses (ie. book stores, newspaper, library etc)
    • Literacy hunt around town- take photos of literacy in action (ie. restaurant menus, street signs, coupons,  bulletin boards, etc.)

Celebrate around the School

Build camaraderie among staff by working towards a common goal together. To begin, create a celebration committee to brainstorm ideas for how to celebrate. Then, design a schedule so that teachers know where they should be and when. Finally, decorate the school with signage and imagery.

Ideas for how to celebrate include:

    • Students can visit classroom bulletin boards to see book recommendations from their peers or pictures of themselves and their students reading their favorite books
    • Teachers can dress up as their favorite book character
    • School assembly with local authors
    • Fundraiser Kick Off party for classroom book donations

Celebrate in the Classroom

Teachers are able to help students fall in love with reading. They can model strong reading habits and strategies while also exposing students to a variety of books. Creating a fun experience around reading will motivate students to keep reading even when its challenging.

Ideas for how to celebrate include:

    • Design elaborate bookmarks with various art supplies
    • Host guest readers (parents, community members, librarian, administrators etc.)
    • Students bring in their favorite books to share
    • Complete a book tasting where students browse a variety of types of books and rate their favorites

Need some classroom activity resources? Here are some suggestions below:

There is no one right way to celebrate. As long as you come together and participate in literacy building activities, you are participating in International Literacy Day!


How do you celebrate International Literacy Day?

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About the author, Gretchen

I am a teacher trainer and coach. Working elbow to elbow with teachers and teacher leaders to ensure instructional proficiency and student achievement soar lights me up. We have a real need in our nation for strong educators to remain in the field. My blog, book, podcast, courses and instructional materials are geared towards empowering teachers (and those that lead them) to receive the support needed to grow and thrive today, tomorrow and always.