Read aloud. Change the World. This is the motto for LitWorld’s global literacy event–World Read Aloud Day held today on February 16th, 2017.World Read Aloud Day was created in 2010 by LitWorld, a renowned literacy 501(c)3 organization, to share the message that the read aloud is a simple, powerful act of social engagement that can change lives, especially for children. LitWorld has documented that over 1 million people in over 100 countries will be celebrating the beauty and power of the read aloud today.
In some communities, children experience read alouds every day by sitting on their family member’s lap or while leaning in to listen more closely on the classroom rug. For some children, the rallying cries of “one more page” are daily literacy events. World Read Aloud Day was born from the idea of a little boy who suggested to Pam Allyn, LitWorld’s Founder and Director, that there should be a big party in honor of the read aloud since it felt so good to have someone read to him. LitWorld recognized that the gift of the read aloud cannot be reserved for the few. It must be available to everyone.
In honor of World Read Aloud Day, read aloud to someone you love. Be it a poem. A news article. A beloved story. Use this global event as a catalyst for more read alouds in your life. Share your story using the hashtag #WRAD17 on social media. Enjoy watching the world come together around one of the simplest but most profound things we can do for one another.
At The Classroom Bookshelf, we champion the read aloud as an essential and joyful part of daily literacy life in a classroom and at home. In honor of World Read Aloud Day, we have used LitWorld’s “7 Strengths” – Belonging, Curiosity, Friendship, Kindness, Confidence, Courage, and Hope–to curate a list of books we have written about that aligns with each strength. Come back to this list all year long to continuously grow a community of readers in your classroom. We’ll be adding to this list periodically as we find and write about new books whose characters or figures model these strengths.
*Katie Egan Cunningham is a friend of LitWorld and literacy consultant for LitLife, LitWorld’s sister organization.*