Skip to content

Celebrating International Literacy Day

By Lynne R. Dorfman

International Literacy Day, celebrated this year on Monday, September 8th, helps us revitalize our commitment to the nurturing of literacy lives – both children and adults – by focusing attention on literacy successes in our classroom, school, community, and networks on twitter, facebook, and other social media forms. This year’s theme, “Lift Off to Literacy,” inspires students to shoot for the stars. We ask you to share the message that building a literacy habit takes just a little time each day.  It is exciting that International Literacy Day will be celebrated worldwide. There will be a main global celebration in Dhaka, where the government of Bangladesh in cooperation with UNESCO will organize the International Conference on “Girls’ and women’s literacy and education.

Did you know that 780 million adults, nearly two-thirds of whom are women, do not know how to read and write?  The International Reading Association also estimates that 94—115 million children worldwide do not have access to education. International Literacy Day is just one way the Association strives to increase literacy around the world.  Literacy empowers people so that they can make informed decisions and plays a crucial foundational role in the creation of sustainable, prosperous and peaceful societies.

We decided to contribute the thinking of some Pawlp’ers on why we write. We are grateful to the Pennsylvania Writing & Literature Project and the National Writing Project for continuing to shine the light on writing and its many gifts!  We hope you find a way to celebrate International Literacy Day with your students and colleagues.

Why I Write…by Rita Sorrentino

Writing brings together the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual parts of myself. As a child I always loved # 2 pencils, treasuring them from brand new to stubby. Holding a pencil helps me to think and gliding it across the page creates a connection to the past, grounding in the present, or a step toward the future. I write to remember and to bring to closure, to speak and to listen, to share experiences or keep a secret, to discover the interweaving of endings and beginnings. I write to connect the dots within myself.

Why I Write….by Jean Shervais

I write because it empowers me.  Writing helps me to focus on the world around me and how I am responding to it.  If I don’t write regularly, I become more confused and less able to understand my role in the world, how to fit into it, how to embrace it.  Writing helps me to live authentically.

Why I Write….by Lynne Dorfman

I write to make memories permanent, to think aloud on paper, to celebrate, to grieve, to problem solve, to get to know myself a little better. I write to be able to breathe. I am most comfortable with pen in hand.  There is no greater gift than the gift of writing.  Give a gift of writing to someone you love today.

Why I Write….by Karen Pawlewicz

I write to channel feelings, emotions, thoughts and ideas. There is something about putting my words onto paper that helps to bring clarity to a situation. To me it is a safe form of processing and I always feel validated or relieved upon completion.  Making lists of thoughts and ideas encourages me to make a daily entry into my journal.

Why I Write….by Janice Ewing

I write because it helps me to make sense of the world, inner and outer. I write because I can take a moment, a scene, a bit of conversation, look at it closely, slowly, and as often as needed until it takes a shape that holds meaning for me and sometimes, for others too.

Why I Write….by Kelly Virgin

I write to remember. When the pen meets the page I rediscover old friends, relive past moments, and remember what I didn’t know I had forgotten.

Why I Write… Tricia Ebarvia

Writing is discovery. In writing, I discover what it is I’m really trying to say. Whether I’m writing an assignment description for my students or a personal essay for a blog, writing brings clarity. And with 125 students at school and three children at home, clarity is always welcome.

Why I Write….by Kimberly Kraf

Writing helps me to think clearly. The process slows my multi-tasking mind and helps me to recognize details that I would otherwise ignore.

Why I Write….by Rich Mitchell

I write to think and remember. As a thinking tool, writing helps me arrive at ideas I could never have discovered without writing toward them. As a tool for remembering, writing keeps me grounded in family, friends, and the basic professional philosophies which I have held since I began teaching.

Why I Write….by Teresa Moslak

I write to find out what I’m really thinking. Until I actually write thoughts down, they are nebulous and uncommitted. Writing thoughts down in black and white forces me to use language to pin them down, transforming them into actual, real entities.

Why I Write….by Brian Kelley

I write to strengthen the roots of the past abloom in my present, and I write to encourage the light soaking the colors of my joy.

Why I Write… by Ben Smith

I write to remember. Here’s what I want to remember: the unintentional wisdom of friends, overheard conversations on public transit, strange and surprising word combinations, an unfinished melody, wild impossible plans, absurd promises, a good story, and my own half-baked musings. If I remember them, then I can share them and maybe find someone who knows what I’m talking about.

Why I Write….by Rina Vassallo

Writing is my way of making sense of my world. I have heard the quote in various contexts that humans need a witness to their lives. Writing is my way of witnessing my world. Writing is as fundamental as breathing; it’s my way of connecting to my emotions and connecting to others. A world without writing (and reading) would be a grim world, indeed.

Why I Write….Dr. Jolene A. Borgese

I write to understand. I write to make sense of the world around me. I write when I am happy, when I am sad, and/or when I am upset. Writing shows me what I know, what I need to know and sometimes it surprises me with what I didn’t know I knew (or remembered).

Writing like reading has been an outlet for me- a solitary act- a time to reflect and lose myself in the words. I see the world in words and pictures. I write because it is who I am.

Why I Write….by Judy Jester

I write because I cannot not write.

Why I Write….by Diane Dougherty

I think it was Peter Elbow who said something like: “How do I know what I think until I see what I say.”  That’s why I write–to clarify my thinking, to record memories, to share, well, myself.  Writing is powerful.

Why I Write….by Eileen Hutchinson

Writing of Wondrous Words

Revelation of Wonders
Innovation of past, present, and future ideas

Telling tales of truths and new discoveries

Enlightening Minds of Curiosity

For the love of Literacy.
Write on!

As we celebrate International Literacy Day, we would love to hear from you, too – please share why you write below! 

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Paul J Wuestkamp #

    I enjoy writing and read because I can allow my imagination to visit places that I have never visited. Ever since I was a young child I always have been amazed with fantasy stories and imagined myself being transported to that type of world. Through writing I am able to express my thoughts on paper and allow my imagination to explore anywhere it would like to go!


    September 8, 2014

We'd love to hear what you think! Please comment below.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: