Monday, December 7, 2015

The Human Right to Literacy

In a new book, From Small Places: Toward the Realization of Literacy as a Human Right, Jo-Anne Wilson-Keenan brings to bear her long history of literacy work in Springfield, Massachusetts and asks the question, "What would happen if people across the world viewed education and literacy as human rights?"  In doing this, she builds on international work on the human right to literacy.   Indeed, the UN stresses a close relationship between literacy and peace, and annually designates September 8 as International Literacy Day.  

Illiteracy in the United States is a serious problem, and the Literacy Foundation reports that 44 million American adults are not able to read a simple story to their children.  In looking at US literacy challenges through a human rights lens, Wilson-Keenan challenges us to take on the hard work of promoting human rights in "small places, close to home."

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