International Literacy Day – Thursday 8 September 2016

​To celebrate International Literacy Day, we are pleased to launch UKLA’s Country Ambassador initiative.


To celebrate International Literacy Day, we are pleased to launch UKLA’s Country Ambassador initiative.

In an increasingly divided world, it seems appropriate that discussion and collegiality become the vehicles ‘for the advancement of education in literacy’, UKLA’s key aim. It is hoped our new ambassadors will be central in supporting us with this agenda, as we know that it is through literacy that lives change: children engage with what it means to be a multi-modal reader and writer in the 21st century; teachers learn about new literacy practices and are encouraged to articulate and refine their pedagogical approaches; communities discover the relevance of literacy in their lives through their local libraries, who champion role models for reading and writing and support lifelong learners by providing places where literacy is celebrated and made relevant.

Our country ambassadors will be:

  • showcasing research from their countries;
  • encouraging new members to join UKLA;
  • supporting colleagues who wish to become part of a SIG (special interest group);
  • suggesting colleagues attend the ‘friendliest’ of international literacy conferences.

They will also be advising the International Sub-Committee on how UKLA might make links with other local literacy organisations, share upcoming events, or by sharing key policy issues and discussions, which have a habit of going global.

We welcome:

Mary Roche, Ireland
Judy Parr, New Zealand
Rúnar Sigþórsson, Iceland
William Bintz, USA
Paul Gardner, Australia
Jill McClay, Canada
Alice Manning, Spain

A message from the President of UKLA

This is an exciting new initiative, which I hope will enrich the Association’s international relations and build stronger links with those who can share values and beliefs about literacy education. We live in interesting times and we need to ensure we have genuine and robust links between teachers and educationalists across the world. Our Country Ambassadors will make a strong contribution to this mission.
Andrew Lambirth, President, University of Greenwich

As an International Sub-Committee, we are delighted to welcome our current ambassadors for their two-year term of office. If you would like to know more about the role with a view to representing your own country, then do contact Liz Chamberlain, Convenor of the International Sub-Committee (

Background about the day

This year marks the 50th anniversary of International Literacy Day. Fifty years ago, UNESCO officially proclaimed 8 September International Literacy Day to actively mobilise the international community and to promote literacy as an instrument to empower individuals, communities and societies.

On behalf of the UKLA International Sub-Committee, we wish you a very happy International Literacy Day.

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