2009 Global Action Week The Big Read is Opening Books and Opening Doors

March 23, 2009

(CTF News Service – Ottawa) The President of the Canadian Teachers Federation (CTF) is once again inviting teacher colleagues from across Canada to continue to help achieve Education for All (EFA) goals by participating in this year’s The Big Read on April 22.

“With the success of last year’s World’s Biggest Lesson I am pleased to be a part of this year’s campaign, The Big Read, and I am looking forward to the impact it will bring in achieving the EFA goals,” says CTF President Emily Noble. During the World Education Forum at Dakar Senegal in 2000, 164 countries have committed themselves to reaching six EFA goals that would vastly improve learning opportunities for children, youth and adults.

The Big Read is the main plan of action for the 2009 Global Action Week (GAW) and is one of the activities which will be held on April 20-26 by the Global Campaign for Education (GCE), a coalition of charities, teacher organizations, trade unions and citizens’ groups worldwide.

“The theme this year is Youth and Adult Literacy and Lifelong Learning, and with the 2015 target date for achieving the Dakar objectives for EFA fast approaching, goal four on literacy for young people and adults has lacked the attention it needs,” explains Noble. “The Big Read is a special opportunity for many of the world’s most famous authors, education advocates, teachers and students to compile and read their personal stories on the need and importance of literacy.”

Research has shown children born to literate mothers are 50 percent more likely to survive past the age of five. Yet, according to the most recent UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) data, there are an estimated 774 million illiterate adults in the world, about 64 percent of whom are women. “Think about what it would be like if you were not able to read, it’s almost impossible because it is a huge part of our daily lives, but for millions of people around the world, this is the reality,” says Noble. “The possibilities of tackling global issues such as poverty are endless when thinking about how much influence and power literacy has on affecting change.”

“Literacy is fundamental to education; they are inseparable. It is imperative that we do not forget goal four on literacy because of its profound effect on an individual’s quality of life,” adds Noble. “The Big Read will be a chance for us as global citizens and teachers to continue to raise awareness and remind world leaders about the importance of education as a fundamental human right.”

Date: April 22, 2009
How: Registration for The Big Read is required at the Canadian Global Campaign for Education Web site which also offers simple instructions, a registration form and more information on The Big Read. (http://www.campaignforeducationcanada.org/en/index.php)/td>

CTF speaks for nearly 200,000 teachers in Canada as their national voice on education and related social issues. CTF membership includes Member organizations in provinces and territories in Canada as well as Affiliate Member in Ontario. CTF (http://www.ctf-fce.ca) is also a member of the international body of teachers, Education International (http://www.ei-ie.org).

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Comments:         Emily Noble, CTF President, 613-688-4300
Media Contact:    Francine Filion, Director of Communications, 613-688-4314