We have a long way to go to close the literacy gap in the U.S.
On September 8, 2022, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) celebrated International Literacy Day under the theme “Transforming Literacy Learning Spaces.” This theme is an opportunity for each of us to ensure quality, equitable, and inclusive spaces that promote literacy and learning.
Literacy has long been an important issue for Junior Leagues, and this community work is part of The Association of Junior League International’s impact area focused on Advancing Childhood Education. According to Reading is Fundamental (RIF), 25 million children in the United States cannot read proficiently. If you’re wondering how you can help close the literacy gap, start by generating awareness and a sense of urgency around this issue in your community. Then make sure to use resources like (RIF)’s interactive digital library for educators, children, and families—a carefully curated digital library of interactive books and educational videos designed for young readers.
National Hispanic Heritage Month provides an opportunity to discover and celebrate Hispanic authors
September also marks the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States. From September 15 to October 15, Americans recognize the history, culture, contributions, and achievements of our Latinx and Hispanic communities who have inspired others to achieve success.
One way we can honor and learn more about Hispanic culture, as well as promote literacy, is to read books by Hispanic authors with the children around us. The Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI) is excited to bring an intersectional lens to these two celebrations by offering a list of books by Hispanic authors that can be shared to help the next generation build awareness.
Books for younger readers:
- 90 Miles to Havana by Enrique Flores-Galbis
- Dolores Huerta: Get to Know the Voice of Migrant Workers by Robert Liu-Trujillo
- Dreams from Many Rivers: A Hispanic History of the United States Told in Poems by Margarita Engle
- Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes by Juan Felipe Herrera
Books for older readers:
- Undocumented: A Dominican Boy’s Odyssey From a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League by Dan-el Padilla Peralta
- Finding Latinx: In Search of the Voices Redefining Latino Identity by Paola Ramos
- I, Rigoberta Menchú: An Indian Woman in Guatemala by Rigoberta Menchú, translated by Ann Wright
- Once I Was You: A Memoir by Maria Hinojosa
- Our America: A Hispanic History of the United States by Felipe Fernández-Armesto