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National Literacy Action Week 2018

‘Literacy as a Right’

This year SCALE has chosen ‘Literacy as a Right’ for our NLAW theme.  Although not recognized as a constitutional right in the US, international organizations like UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) consider literacy to be a basic human right.  UNESCO takes the following stance on literacy:

“It views acquiring and improving literacy skills throughout life as an intrinsic part of the right to education. The “multiplier effect” of literacy empowers people, enables them to participate fully in society and contributes to improve livelihoods.  Literacy is also a driver for sustainable development in that it enables greater participation in the labour market; improved child and family health and nutrition; reduces poverty and expands life opportunities.  Beyond its conventional concept as a set of reading, writing and counting skills, literacy is now understood as a means of identification, understanding, interpretation, creation, and communication in an increasingly digital, text-mediated, information-rich and fast-changing world.”

With this mindset, SCALE chose ‘literacy as a right’ for our 2018 NLAW theme.  As an organization we will focus specifically on increasing literacy access for incarcerated persons.  We are partnering with a local organization, Prison Books Collective, that fills book requests for prisoners in North Carolina and Alabama.  Our America Reads and Counts tutors and our North Carolina LiteracyCorps members will participate in the type of projects listed below to support PBC.

  1. Raise funds to support postage and supply costs for Prison Books
  2. Organize targeted book drives to collect the most popular and frequently requested books
  3. Write letter responses to prisoners who have requested books
  4. Teach a lesson to their adult or K-12 learners on topics relating to incarceration and literacy (e.g. school to prison pipeline)

We encourage you or your organization to connect with a local organization like Prison Books Collective or create your own event relating to the theme of Literacy as a Right.  You can also participate in our social media campaign to advocate for literacy for all!  The information above and in the subsequent tabs on this page provides guides, resources, lesson plans, registration for our free conference, and a history of NLAW.  Please reach out to us at for more information or if you have questions on how you can best advocate for literacy in your community.

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