Many of us couldn’t imagine our lives without books. We remember the books we read as kids and the books that were read to us. We remember our favorite quotes, our favorite characters.
We remember the books that became our friends, the ones that supported us through adolescent angst, first loves, breakups, friendship or family fiascoes, lonely days and other tough and joyful times.
We remember the books that gave us the inspiration to scribble quotes in our journals, to write stories and to follow our dreams.
Books have the power to open up perspectives, to take us places we otherwise wouldn’t be able to go.
Soaking in their words and fastening our own helps us express ourselves, communicate quality information to others and connect to the world. Words give us the strength and know-how to make smart decisions and chart our own lives.
Thankfully, for most of us, reading is as natural as seeing or speaking or brushing our teeth.
Unfortunately, for millions of people around the world reading isn’t any of these things. At least 793 million people worldwide can’t read and end up missing out on the sheer joy and valuable lessons and opportunities that reading brings.
That’s why I’m honored to share an important upcoming date with you along with an amazing organization.
March 7th, 2012 is World Read Aloud Day (WRAD), which is sponsored by LitWorld, a nonprofit organization that works with teachers, parents, kids and communities to create sustainable literacy practices all around the world.
According to LitWorld, they “founded World Read Aloud Day in March 2010 as an awareness day advocating for literacy as a right that belongs to all people. World Read Aloud Day motivates children, teens, and adults worldwide to celebrate the power of words, especially those words that are shared from one person to another. By raising our voices together on this day, we show the world’s children that we support their future: that they have the right to read, to write, and to share their words to change the world.”
So how can you help?
According to LitWorld, you can help to educate, advocate and innovate. Below are their suggestions.
Read aloud with loved ones or new friends and talk together about the importance of global literacy, marking this as a special day of reading. Download LitWorld’s excellent picture book New Day, New Friends and the WRAD Community Packet for worksheets, recommendations, statistics on literacy, and other resources to help spark your plans.
Spread the word about World Read Aloud Day and the Global Literacy Movement to your friends and followers on social media. Host an event in your area. Help LitWorld reach more than one million participants on March 7th.
Set your avatar on Facebook and Twitter to the WRAD 2012 Badge (the adorable image above) today through March 7. Share LitWorld’s WRAD 2012 Kit (PDF), and check the WRAD Blog for more ideas. Also, consider embedding LitWorld’s WRAD 2012 Preview Video on your website or blog, or post it on Facebook and Twitter.
Register for World Read Aloud Day here. Join LitWorld’s upcoming Live Orange Broadcast Series Events on the art of reading aloud. (Details will be posted on their Facebook page.) Sign up for an official WRAD 2012 Video Chat, or set up your own cross-global video chat with a long-distance friend.
Join the WRAD 2012 Signature Event at Books of Wonder in New York City. Books of Wonder is the oldest and largest independent children’s bookstore in NYC. You’ll get to meet and listen to NYC’s leading children’s lit specialists.
Or if you can’t make it in person, simply visit LitWorld.org on March 7th, and watch the live webcast.
How will you celebrate World Read Aloud Day?