World Book Day is on a mission to give every child and young person a book of their own. Today, March 7, children all over Ireland and the UK are celebrating the simple yet boundless magic of books. Established in 1995 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Book Day is a worldwide celebration of authors, illustrators, books and most importantly, a celebration of reading.

Marked in over 100 countries of the world, the main aim of World Book Day in Ireland and the UK, is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own. During celebratory activities in schools today, each child will be given book tokens so as to choose a book of their own.

In terms of education, the benefits of fostering a love of reading in children is invaluable. Through SDG 4, the UN aims to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and to promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.” In a recent update on the progress of SDG 4, the UN stated, “More than half of children and adolescents worldwide are not meeting minimum proficiency standards in reading and mathematics.”

With reported statistics such as these, campaigns like World Book Day are vitally important. Moreover, in a time when children are being exposed to an increasing prevalence of digital screens, books can unlock the power of their minds in a way that digital devices simply can not.

#WorldBookDay will be celebrated in other countries across the world on April 23.

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