A global movement powered by the mighty read aloud

We're so pleased to welcome Pam Allyn, Executive Director and founder of LitWorld and LitLife, to the blog this afternoon. Pam is also a global reading ambassador—and dear friend—to us here at Scholastic. She'll be sharing information about World Read Aloud Day (March 5, 2014).

March 5th is LitWorld's fifth annual World Read Aloud Day celebration. What moves me the most about this day is how it all began: with a 7-year-old boy's wish to share his new found discovery of the magic of the read aloud with every child in the world. He wanted to make sure that his global brothers and sisters could experience the gift and magic of story. Today we have grown this wish into a global reading rally that motivates over one million people to spend the day connecting with one another through shared words. 

The extraordinary growth and evolution of the World Read Aloud Day movement is no surprise to me. The best, most successful initiatives in education happen when we listen to the voices of children. After all, for any lasting, sustainable impact, we must make sure learning is rooted in joy and scaffolded with practices that children love. The read aloud is the simplest, most powerful way to convey a love of reading, to immerse a child in a love of language and to come together with the reverberating joy of a shared story.

Our tagline this year is "Join the Movement. Read Aloud. Change the World." Celebrating World Read Aloud Day really is that simple, and reading aloud really is that powerful. With the offer of a story on March 5th (and every day!) we all have the opportunity to invite a child into the "reading club." For many children this will be the first time that he can visualize himself as a reader because someone finally took the time to show him what it looks like to be excited about reading. For fun and easy celebration ideas visit the LitWorld website to download our free activity kits.

When you celebrate next week, you will be raising your voice for every child's right to read alongside people of all ages and nationalities. We have celebrations registered in over 500 cities around the world. Check out our WRAD map and register at http://litworld.org/wrad to get your own city listed.

I will be back next week to share more on the power of reading aloud when I host a live chat on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page at 1pm on the big day (March 5th)! Bring all of your questions about your child's reading life (and your own reading life) and we can share them all with each other.  And in the meantime, find a child, a friend, a colleague, a family member, and take a moment to feel the power when you read aloud together!