Promoting Literacy in the Digital Age
While many of us take for granted the ability to read, literacy is still a significant issue in the United States. A 2003 federal survey from the National Assessment of Adult Literacy, the first of its kind since 1992, found that 32 million adults in the United States would struggle to read anything more challenging than a children's picture book.
For those with businesses based on books and reading, it seems like a natural fit for book publishers to take up the literacy cause. For children's publisher Scholastic Inc., the cause was so important that the company has launched a global literacy campaign as part of its 90th anniversary celebration.
"I want to make sure that every child growing up today, and every parent and teacher is made aware of the critical importance of literacy in the digital world of the 21st century," says Richard Robinson, president, chairman and CEO, Scholastic Inc. "Critical thinking, the ability to analyze massive amounts of information, to evaluate sources—these high-order thinking skills are what will define those who are successful now in the years ahead. … Making sure that every child has an opportunity to have a life enriched by great books is our challenge, our focus and our mission."
"Our campaign is designed to engage a wide audience of adults in the effort to support children's reading so they will have the skills to understand and navigate the vast amounts of information and text that they encounter in their 21st-century world," says Kyle Good, vice president, corporate communications and media relations.
Officially launched in October with the campaign slogan, "Read Every Day. Lead a Better Life," Scholastic's Global Literacy Campaign is multifaceted, featuring a variety of tools and components, although its foundation, according to Good, is The Reading Bill of Rights, "a declaration of why literacy is more important in today's world than ever before."