USAID Administrator Shah to Kick off 'Galactic' Literacy Day Celebration

Sep 06, 2011, 14:37 ET from U.S. Agency for International Development

Space Station Astronauts will deliver video greeting from orbit during ceremony

WASHINGTON, Sept. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah will open a celebration of international literacy on Thursday, September 8 at USAID headquarters in Washington, D.C.


In cooperation with NASA, USAID will share a special, taped video message from astronauts at the International Space Station, encouraging world leaders to continue efforts to improve literacy rates around the world.

The event, marking International Literacy Day, is the product of USAID's partnership with the Education for All Fast Track Initiative and the Center for Universal Education at Brookings. The Honorable Nita M. Lowey, U.S. House of Representatives and Dr. Daniel A. Wagner, UNESCO Chair in Learning and Literacy and Director of the International Literacy Institute at University of Pennsylvania, will provide opening remarks, in addition to Administrator Shah.

In addition, Administrator Shah will present Rep. Lowey with a 2011 USAID Literacy Champion award.

The International Literacy Day event will examine how stakeholders are addressing the challenge of improving literacy, especially in early stages of childhood, to help achieve the goal of quality education for all.  Ministry of Education leaders from Liberia, Mozambique, Ethiopia, and Nicaragua will discuss challenges they face as they strive to advance literacy in their countries.

Date: Thursday, September 8

Time:  9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Location:  USAID, Ronald Reagan Building, Pavilion Room, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC  20004

Members of the news media are encouraged to RSVP to USAID Press Officer Drew Bailey at or

Public Information: 202-712-4810

SOURCE U.S. Agency for International Development