International Literacy Day, on September 8th, is an opportunity to renew our dedication to the importance of literacy and education for everyone. It is also a good time to think about the value of adult role models for our youth.

According to The International Reading Association, it is estimated that, “860 million of the world’s adults do not know how to read or write, and that more than 100 million children lack access to education”. With the high rate of illiterate adults around the world, how are we setting a good example for our youth?

Adult Literacy & Boys

Boys are our future adults, so naturally promoting their interest in reading will hopefully help make them lifelong readers as adults. But even as young boys, adult literacy is crucial to their development now.

The adults in their daily lives – fathers, mothers, uncles, older brothers, etc. – are their first role models; when they set an example that literacy is important, boys gain a positive attitude and foundation to literacy. Literate households are more likely to reinforce the learning that boys gain in school and those adults are also more likely to be involved in their son’s education. Through sharing their own reading experiences, adults can create meaningful and inspiring relationships with boys – a bond through education.

Ideas for Shared Literacy Experiences

In addition to encouraging the boys you know to read or write a personal or imaginary story today, let them see you doing the same. Some ideas for sharing the importance of literacy with boys:

  • Visit your local library and take out books together
  • Donate your old books to disadvantaged families and talk with your son about the importance of reading for everyone.
  • Spend an hour this evening with the television off, each reading the text of your choice – a book, comic, magazine, newspaper, etc. Share with each other what you have read.
  • Make time for bedtime reading as a family with the kids, Mom and Dad
  • Write about your Labor Day weekend and then read your account out loud to each other

What are some of your ideas for showing boys the value of reading and making both adult and child literacy important?

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