SIL International Media Release
International Literacy Day
DALLAS, TEXAS (September 9, 2005) SIL International joined governments and other agencies worldwide yesterday in recognizing International Literacy Day. Dave Pearson, SIL’s Permanent Representative to UNESCO, and Dr. Barbara Trudell, SIL’s Africa Area Literacy Coordinator, attended the UNESCO event in Paris, France. The Hans Christian Andersen exhibition was opened, and UNESCO awarded literacy prizes.
Participation by SIL reflects the organization’s commitment to community-based programs for lesser-known language communities. It assists in training local people to assume increasing responsibility for sustainable literacy programs in their own communities and languages.
Life-long education enables minority language communities to gain the knowledge and skills they need to meet their needs and achieve their goals. A primary activity for SIL is to support communities in their efforts to develop education programs that enable children and adults to become fluent readers and writers in their own mother tongue and also gain fluency in a language of wider communication.
Through multilingual education, language minority communities build positive bridges with dominant local languages without sacrificing their heritage language and culture. Multilingual education also opens the door to new information and new avenues for communication. SIL responds to requests from local, regional and national agencies to assist minority language communities in developing culturally appropriate basic literacy, bilingual and multilingual education programs.
SIL staff in various countries around the world took part in local celebrations of International Literacy Day.