World Read Aloud Day is an annual event where people all over the world read aloud as a way to advocate for literacy. This event is run by a nonprofit organization called LitWorld. Their mission is to provide reading and writing opportunities to young children around the world. This year World Read Aloud Day takes place on February1. Below are three reasons why and how we celebrate.
Awareness: Recently, I was asked why we celebrate World Read Aloud Day. We read aloud to our students daily, so why should we celebrate something we do all the time. The students that I teach have been read to regularly since birth. They come from households with well-educated parents, who value reading as an important part of their lives. Yet, World Read Aloud Day allows us to talk about the fact that this is not true for all people. Since reading is something that young children can relate to, it allows us to discuss differences at a global level that they can understand.
Connections: World Read Aloud Day is about making connections with the world around you as well as sharing the importance of reading. This event allows connections to be made between children and books. Connections are also made across our school building, in the community and across the globe.
Fun: Instilling a love of reading is a goal in the library. World Read Aloud Day is a celebration. It is about reading just for the fun of it, which directly connects to the curriculum objectives.
School-Wide Event: Our school community started celebrating World Read Aloud Day four years ago. We started with a school-wide event that we now do annually. We keep it simple by having older classes are paired with younger classes. The teachers will read aloud a book and then students will read aloud together. There are no “extras.” Students just enjoy reading together.
Virtual Visits: Expanding this day past the walls of my school building has always been a goal. The week of World Read Aloud Day, we connect with other classrooms through Skype and Goggle Hangouts. We read stories aloud or share written work. During the visit, we always have the students interact with each other. You can connect with other educators throughout the world by visiting the Google Doc created by Shannon Miller, Andy Plemmons, and Matthew Winner. You can also connect with an author on World Read Aloud Day. Author Kate Messner has created a website with contact information of authors who will visit with your students to celebrate the day.
Community Partnerships: This is a great opportunity to connect with community members in your area. Invite business leaders, book store owners, or even political officials to come and read aloud as part of the celebration. Additionally, this provides us the opportunity to connect between home and school by having families celebrate by reading together.
If you are interested in learning more or registering to be a part of World Read Aloud Day 2018 visit: http://www.litworld.org/wrad/. Make sure to share how you plan to celebrate!
Author: Kelly Hincks
I am the librarian at Detroit Country Day Lower School in Bloomfield Hills, MI. I have worked as a school librarian for the past eleven years. I was a classroom teacher for four years prior to that. I have worked in charter, public, and private schools. My favorite thing about being a school librarian is the opportunities I have to work both with students and teachers. I love the co-teaching opportunities and connections I have been able to make! I have served on AASL committees as a member and chair. I currently serve as secretary of my state association, Michigan Association of School Librarians (MASL).