- Invite a special guest to come and read to the class — a parent, the principal, a member of your community, anyone!
- Arrange a virtual read aloud by having an author Skype with the class. Many authors want to participate in WRAD and will do this for free. Author Kate Messner maintains a list on her website of authors who are available for virtual visits on WRAD.
- Encourage students to bring in blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, etc. to sit with while they are listening to the story.
- Invite older students to read aloud to younger students.
Why Is WRAD Important?
WRAD was created to bring the joy of reading to every child. Not all children are read to at home. Some families may not be able to afford books or have transportation to their public libraries. Other families may not understand the value of reading aloud to their children and therefore will not make time for it. By dedicating a day (or even part of a day) to reading aloud, children are given an opportunity to fall in love with books and become motivated to read independently.
According to Common Sense Media, “Kids are spending more time with screen media — and at younger ages — than ever before.” By making a celebration of reading aloud, kids may discover books they connect with, and perhaps, make a choice to read rather than pick up the iPad or the Xbox.
Is WRAD for Older Children, Too?
Yes! Once children learn to read independently, the read alouds are not as frequent. But there are many reasons to read aloud to older children that are often forgot. It can increase interest and engagement. Students can enjoy books that may still be above their reading level. It builds connections between teachers and students. Additionally, students can experience reading for the sheer pleasure of it, rather than just as part of a school assignment or test.
This year, I plan to celebrate WRAD with each of my classes, by arranging author Skype visits. Some of these are already booked; others are in the works. I celebrated it last year for the first time, and many students told me it was their favorite memory of the entire school year.
If you are interested in signing up or learning more about WRAD, please visit http://www.litworld.org/wrad.