Discover our database of the best inspiring articles from around the world about the challenge of illiteracy and the opportunities that literacy creates.

Literacy articles

Some of these articles are original contributions by the Project Literacy team, some are contributions from partners, and some are curated from the Web, but all are going to teach you something new and different about the power of words. Enjoy browsing and remember to come back regularly to check for new additions.

International Literacy Day

International Literacy Day

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of UNESCO's International Literacy Day, Project Literacy is helping to raise awareness of how the world would be improved if we increased literacy levels. By working with some of the most innovative literacy organiza...

Rewriting Lives: Cieran

Cieran started at Playdays Pre-school with very challenging behaviour. He would come into pre-school agitated and wasn’t able to express his feelings very well. At home he was used to play fighting with his two older brothers, which ...

Lives Rewritten: Lalita

Basic knowledge of sanitation, medication and nutrition increase with literacy. In fact, increasing female literacy by 50% would result in 30% fewer infant deaths. This is the story of 31-year-old mother Lalita who, with the hel...

Lives Rewritten: Anil

Adults with the lowest level of literacy are the most likely to be unemployed, often leading to homelessness. This is the story of 35-year-old Anil who, after struggling with mental health and substance abuse issues, found his feet and began h...

Credit: Room to Read

A Former Dropout Empowers Tanzanian Girls to Stay in School

If you stroll far enough into the coastal town of Bagamoyo in Tanzania, away from the cultural, tourist and conference hub it has become, you may catch a glimpse of an unusual site — a school whose classrooms are filled with girls, one of them led by Madam Yustina, as her students like to call her.

Credit: Reading is Fundamental

Reading is Fundamental is helping students beat the 'Summer slide'

Some of my favorite childhood memories don’t spring from my own childhood at all; they are borrowed from the pages of books. I waited for spring with Frog and Toad, helped deliver Grandmother’s kiss to Little Bear, and walked to school along the beach in Provincetown on The Day the Whale Came to My Town.

Performance-based programs are dramatically improving students' literacy skills.

Theater Brings Literacy to Life for Kids

Three years ago, eleventh-grader Pathum Madigapola was on the verge of dropping out of school. “I felt everyone was against me,” he says. “A lot of schools seem to have this standard on how everything should be learned and it limits the creativity.” ...

Children participating in 28 Too Many projects

What it takes to end FGM

Illiteracy fuels the ignorance that allows Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) to endure. At least 200 million girls have undergone FGM globally. Ann-Marie Wilson, 28 Too Many’s founder, explains what can be done to end the practice for good...

Traditional school buildings are being redesigned and reimagined to foster student learning. Photo of Alamo Elementary School, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Want To Keep More Kids In School? Design A Smarter Classroom

At Codman Academy Charter Public School in Dorchester, Massachusetts, students from kindergarten on up struggle with trauma caused by homelessness, violence, or emotional or sexual abuse. Three quarters of the student body qualify for ...

The aedes aegypti mosquito carries both yellow fever and dengue. Credit: Flickr user Sanofi Pasteur (cc).

The Best Bet For Stopping Outbreaks Isn’t Just A Vaccine

In a series of events and missteps that are starkly reminiscent of the beginnings of the ebola virus outbreak in West Africa, Angola is now grappling with a worrying outbreak of yellow fever, the worst in three decades, which is spreading like wild...