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International Literacy Day


For immediate release
Paris, 23 July 2008

International Literacy Day

The World Association of Newspapers is now offering materials for publication in newspapers around the world that wish to commemorate International Literacy Day on 8 September.

The materials, which are available from the WAN website at http://www.wan-press.org/youngreader , include an eight-part serialised story for children, and comic strips and panels from some of the worlds most notable cartoonists.

International Literacy Day on 8 September was established by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to highlight the status of literacy and adult learning globally. Some 774 million adults lack minimum literacy skills world-wide; one in five adults is not literate and two-thirds of them are women; 72.1 million children are out-of-school and many more attend irregularly or drop out, according to UNESCO.

The serialised story being offered by WAN, `Frannie Learns a Lesson,' is designed to encourage family reading. The package includes artwork and an activity guide and is offered in English and Spanish (translation into other languages is allowed and encouraged).

The materials are being offered through the WAN Young Reader Programme, which is supported by the Norwegian paper manufacturer Norske Skog. The story and illustrations were donated by the authors and the artist Cathy Sewell, Jenni Duke and Glenn McCoy -- while the cartoons are being provided with the help of the National Cartoonists Society, King Features Syndicate, Universal Press Syndicate and the New York Times Syndicate.

Jim Davis, creator of Garfield, is among several major cartoonists who will donate a cartoon that any newspaper can use on 8 September. WAN is also suggesting that newspapers with their own cartoonists produce cartoons with a literacy theme on 8 September.

Full details are available at http://www.wan-press.org/youngreader

The Paris-based WAN, the global organisation for the newspaper industry, defends and promotes press freedom and the professional and business interests of newspapers world-wide. Representing 18,000 newspapers, its membership includes 77 national newspaper associations, newspaper companies and individual newspaper executives in 102 countries, 12 news agencies and 11 regional and world-wide press groups.

ends

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