Because of this terrible reality, 2012 is the [Australian] National Year of Reading [NYOR]. Sponsored by Libraries and Library associations all over Australia, the aim of the NYOR is to raise awareness of the cause, and raise literacy rates. You can read more about the sponsors, aims, and background story of the NYOR here.
The great team over at Block Branding were charged with a Radio campaign, presenting the real life stories of adults who have learned to read through the national sponsored NOT STUPID PROGRAM
in which Adults [18+] can learn to read through the nation wide READ WRITE NOW program.
Trevor is 46, Margaret is 62, Jonathon is 28: these people have faces, lives, children, partners, jobs, names - yet they can't read or write their own names. These people are not faceless, they are among us, struggling in plain sight. They are not to be looked down upon, but supported.
To promote the National Year of Reading, the State Library of Western Australia hosted an event last Friday (November 16th), to which I attended. Throughout the day, people would read aloud. Whether it was from a picture book, a poem, or a novel, all ages and reading levels joined in. A group of people from Student Edge read, and Better Beginnings read with one of their sponsors, Rio Tinto.
It was also an open mic, and lots of people came up to read. [Unfortunately, I didn't get enough pictures!]
There were also giant chalkboards placed around the Perth Cultural Centre, they each had a theme, and everyone was welcome to write on them... here are some of what was there.