Thousands of Utahns will not celebrate Literacy Day Sept. 8 because they cannot read the published notices concerning the event.

The day will focus on the desirability for all Utahns - and all Americans - to enjoy the benefits of reading.The Deseret News is joining other agencies to sponsor events in connection with literary day and an ongoing program to promote reading as a self- and family-improvement skill. Joint sponsors are KTVX-Channel 4, the Utah Literacy/English as a Second Language Coalition, the state Project Literacy U.S. (PLUS) committee and KBYU-Channel 11.

The days's activities will begin at Thursday at 2:30 p.m. on the steps of the Capitol with an appearance by "Benjamin Franklin," who will introduce KTVX personality Phil Reisen. Together, they will highlight the importance of being able to read.

Poetry by Shel Silverstein, author of "A Light in the Attic," will be read by local celebrities, including Thurl Bailey of the Utah Jazz.

A University of Utah runner will arrive with the Special Olympics torch, which will light an "eternal flame" for literacy. Gov. Norm Bangerter will declare this the year to Read to Succeed.

The Deseret News is initiating an ongoing Family Focus program that will encourage families to use the newspaper as a living textbook. Schools across the state also will be invited to participate in a reading contest that will culminate in a two-hour live special on KBYU next spring.