United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization  

  International Literacy Day - 8 September 2000  

  Director-General's Message
  Celebration 2000
  Literacy prizes 2000
  Sidelights on History
  Literacy with a Human Face
  Reflection on Literacy Day
  Picture Gallery
  World Bibliography

Let's Celebrate the International Literacy Day  >>>>>>>>>  8 September 2000  

>>>  Paris, France >>> Washington, USA >>> Hanover, Germany >>>

UNESCO Paris is once again celebrating International Literacy Day 2000 – the first of the new decade. The event will take place at UNESCO Headquarters on the 8th September.

Dancers from Thailand, story tellers from Burkina Faso, an international group of RAP dancers and musicians, artists from Colombia will be with us, performing and demonstrating their commitment to the cause of literacy, to the plight of roughly a billion adults in the world today who still cannot read and write. They will be giving of their time and talent to help UNESCO pass the message that literacy and basic education are the minimum that we must offer to our brothers and sisters to lift them from their isolation and move them along with us into the new decade.

This year’s celebration, therefore, will be a mix of dances and songs from all over the world together with the more sobre but important announcement of the winners of the International Literacy Prizes for this year. A slight departure from the more traditional presentation ceremonies of the past.

Celebration and prize giving of the International Literacy Prizes 2000
Friday, 8 September 2000
Room I, at 5 p.m. precisely

The Division of Basic Education has pleasure in inviting you to the celebration and prize giving of the International Literacy Prizes 2000 Programme:


  • "From the horses mouth" - Video - testimonials from former illiterates

Award of the International Literacy Prizes 2000

  • Group MULTI-FORME - Dance from Cameroon

  • Group MUANG-THAI - Classic dance (Homage to the gods of the dance)
    Folk dance from the north east of Thailand (Dance of the sticky rice baskets)

  • Group LATINE - AGUAMIEL from Venezuela sings "Fiesta in Orza"
    - CONSUELO URIBE from Colombia sings "El Tiempo" by Dario Moreno and Chucho Meza (Bambuco - nostalgic rhythms from the mountains of Colombia)
    - PUKAWARA sings a song from Potosi in Bolivia
    - El Baile de las Inditas from Nicaragua

  • Group DA L’AS - Music and dance RAP (Prime Essence)/ Graffiti artist (DARCO)

Entrance free
UNESCO, 125 Avenue de Suffren, Paris 75007


Wahshington, USA-Thirteen major education and literacy organizations will join together to celebrate International Literacy Day, September 8, 2000. The purpose of the annual event, held this year at the Madison Building of the Library of Congress, 101 Independence Ave., SE, Washington, DC, is to focus attention on worldwide literacy issues and needs through partnering, and to recognize the vital importance of literacy to society.

According to Librarian of Congress James H. Billington, who will present brief remarks at the opening ceremony, "Improving literacy skills throughout the world is a huge but important challenge, and one in which libraries play a vital role. The ability to read is imperative to our survival as a civilization. The ability to have access to information in all forms, in every language and at all times, is a worthy goal for our time."

The opening ceremony will be held in the Madison Hall of the Library of Congress from 10:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and will feature literacy and education professionals in addition to learners who have recently acquired literacy skills. Partner exhibits will be open all day.

The program, open to the public, will include activities held in the Madison Plaza of the Library of Congress beginning at 9:30 a.m., conducted by Literacy Volunteers of America and Yellow Pages Advertising Council, and Franklin the Turtle (a young children’s book series).Activities will feature storytelling, information booths, and celebrity appearances.

The program will conclude with the announcement of the International Literacy Day awards, given each year for contributions to the cause of worldwide literacy.

An academic panel discussion, "Literacy in the Information Age," will be held from 1:30 p.m to 3:00 pm. in the Mumford Room on the sixth floor of the Madison Building. It will focus on the final report of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) International Adult Literacy Survey.

"According to one OECD Study," says Scott Walter, Director of International Development for the International Reading Association, "The higher a nation’s literacy skills, the more likely its population will work in better quality jobs, earn more and have healthier habits and lifestyles. There is a measurable net return to literacy skills."

The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) estimates that 880 million of the world’s adults do not know how to read or write (two-thirds of this number are females). In addition, more than 113 million children lack access to education. UNESCO further reports that progress is being made gradually, but the advent of new technologies means that the gap between rich and poor countries is growing wider.

The thirteen partners involved in this year’s event include :


Hanover, Germany>>>What will happen, Click...


"Literacy. Without it…words have no meaning.