The Literacy Cooperative Celebrates International Literacy Day

International Literacy Day is NEXT WEEK, on Tuesday, September 8th, 2020. Since its inception in 1967, organizations and individuals all over the world dedicate a full day to spreading awareness about literacy issues, through social media, events, or publications. As many events and in-person learning are canceled or modified, this year’s theme is remote and distance learning in the time of COVID-19. Click here to learn more or visit https://en.unesco.org/commemorations/literacyday. The virtual working and learning drew attention to the digital divide – an issue that’s been present for a long time and has only been made worse by the pandemic. Our community is focused on addressing this divide and is striving for digital inclusion, as well as digital literacy!

The Digital Divide is something that prohibits many students, parents, and adults from reaching their full potential. In a world where online learning is becoming the norm, we must ensure that every person has reliable access to the Internet.

  • Based on 2018 statistics from the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, Cleveland ranks 33rd in the nation when it comes to completely unconnected households (27.42%) and ranks 33rd when it comes to homes without a wireline (44%).
  • 44% of Cleveland households do not have high-speed broadband in their homes.
  • 34% of Cleveland households do not have a desktop, laptop, or tablet computer in their homes.
  • Nearly 50% of households making under $20K a year in Cleveland do not have ANY internet access (including smartphone access).
  • About 43% of seniors (individuals aged 65+) in Cleveland do not have ANY internet access or a computer.
  • Cleveland was ranked the fourth worst internet-connected city in the United States. Closing the digital divide helps all of us.
  • According to The National Skills Coalition, 31% of the U.S. workforce lacks digital skills. That number includes 13% of people who have NO digital skills.

Many of these workers may have fragmented knowledge, where they may be comfortable using a mobile phone to text a photo, but not be familiar with how to operate a mouse or upload a job application. This is especially true of households without a laptop or desktop computer.

Workers in construction, transportation, and storage have the lowest industry levels of digital skills, where 50% of workers have no or limited skills.

On September 8th, post of photo of yourself answering this question: “What does digital inclusion mean to you?”

On September 8th, The Literacy Cooperative invites the community to celebrate literacy and spread awareness of the digital divide through a photo campaign on social media. We are asking if you would join us for this important day! Here is what to do:

1. On September 8th, post of photo of yourself answering this question: “What does digital inclusion mean to you?” Take these posts as an example:

  • Digital inclusion = connectivity + technology + digital skills
  • Digital inclusion = internet is a public utility
  • Digital inclusion = social inclusion

2. Use the hashtags #LogInCLE #InternationalLiteracyDay in your post. With your help, we can make digital inclusion a trending topic in the Cleveland area!

3. Use the sample tweets below to post to your social media platforms.

4. If you are sponsoring any events for International Literacy Day, please let us know so we can promote them throughout our network.

Please feel free to forward this to your friends and colleagues to encourage their participation. If you have any questions, please email Emma Keating at ekeating@literacycooperative.org.

Thank you so much for helping us draw attention to this important campaign!

“This pandemic has brought the #digitaldivide into the spotlight more than ever before, but it has been around for far longer. Did you know 44% of Cleveland residents don’t have access to Broadband Internet? #LogInCLE. #InternationalLiteracyDay”

“Over 30% of Cleveland residents don’t own a laptop, desktop, or other computer. How can we make sure they have access to education and training? Make the Internet a public utility! #LogInCLE #InternationalLiteracyDay”

“Because schools have transitioned to online learning, much of recent #distancelearning focus has been on #K-12. But what about adult education? We need to focus on ALL ages who are learning. #LogInCLE #InternationalLiteracyDay”

“Cleveland is ranked FOURTH WORST Internet-connected city, according to a 2018 report by @netinclusion. To have digital inclusion, one must have digital literacy AND access to Internet! #LogInCLE #InternationalLiteracyDay””

“At least 48 million U.S. workers lack these foundational digital skills, and even more lack access to the high-quality training which would empower them to increase their skills to meet future technological shifts. #LogInCLE #InternationalLiteracyDay”

“Don’t let your neighbors be #LoggedOut of school and jobs. We need digital inclusion! #LogInCLE #InternationalLiteracyDay”

“From @NationalSkills: “33% of workers in America’s health and social work sector lack digital skills, a concerning finding given the widespread use of electronic health records and related computer tools across the sector.” #LogInCLE #InternationalLiteracyDay”

“Policymakers must prioritize digital skill-building strategies use contextualized learning models which help workers see the real-life implications of digital skills. #LogInCLE #InternationalLiteracyDay”

“One more reason why #digitalskills are so important: roughly half of workers with no or limited digital skills work low-paying jobs. #LogInCLE #InternationalLiteracyDay”

“Parents represent 66 percent of total workers in this @nationalskills data, but 75 percent of those with no skills and 78 percent of those with limited skills. Upskilling parents helps the WHOLE family. #LogInCLE #InternationalLiteracyDay”