People would stand in line for days and pay hundreds of dollars if there were a pill that could do everything for a child that reading aloud does. It expands their interest in books, vocabulary, comprehension, grammar, and attention span. Simply put, it’s a free oral vaccine for literacy.

Jim Trelease

DOTY World Read Aloud Day || Megan Schnupp

It’s a pretty regular part of many people’s childhood experience, being tucked into bed at night while our parents read us a story from our favorite books. The gentle drone of a parent’s voice reading out these stories filled our heads with imagination, our hearts with comfort, and our souls with a desire to see and experience more. If you remember this being an essential part of your childhood or even part of your every day, then World Read Aloud Day is for you!

History of World Read Aloud Day

World Read Aloud Day is heavily supported by LitWorld, an organization dedicated to bringing literacy to the world at large. This organization is often credited for creating the day! Every year thousands of children and adults struggle with being able to read, and through their efforts, LitWorld is helping to bring the wonder of the written word to these men, women, and children. LitWorld’s mission is “strengthening kids and communities through the power of stories.” More than fitting for World Read Aloud Day, for both kids and adults alike!

World Read Aloud Day is just one opportunity they have to do that, and in 2018 they made a move that resulted in World Read Aloud Day being even more effective and able to reach people all around the world.

2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the Harry Potter series, and they combined Harry Potter Book Night with World Read Aloud Day to help bring the wonder of reading to people everywhere by reading the Harry Potter books aloud at locations all over the world. Reading Aloud is a way to help stimulate our brains, build bonds with friends and family, and otherwise come together.

Benefits of Reading Aloud

According to research, reading aloud has many benefits for you and your family! People find an emotional escape in stories, especially when they are read aloud. By reading to your child for a few minutes every day, they are more likely to regulate their own emotions and learn how to better express themselves. Children who spend time reading aloud are more likely to understand different people and cultures, have empathy, and deepen their imagination skills. 

Students that are read to in the classroom also score higher on comprehension tests as they understand the material deeper and can explain the themes quicker. In a Scholastic survey, 98% of teachers said that reading aloud in class helps students engage in meaningful conversations. 

The benefits are not only for young children though. Both teens and adults can find enjoyment in reading aloud. Parents that read to their children are found to have better emotional regulation as well as a stronger bond with their children. Teens that read aloud gain a better sense of social-emotional intelligence and deepen their understanding of the world around them. Whether you’re a child, teen, or adult, the benefits of reading aloud are endless!

How to Celebrate World Read Aloud Day

Words are all around us, and what better way to celebrate them than by gathering with friends and family and reading aloud! According to Scholastic, over 173 countries actively celebrate World Read Aloud Day! The company says that this day calls “attention to the importance of sharing stories by challenging participants to grab a book, find an audience, and read-aloud!” If you want to celebrate along with LitWorld and Scholastic, post a picture or video of you reading aloud with the hashtag #WRADChallenge!

The best way to celebrate World Read Aloud Day is to do exactly what it says on the tin, get a book, and read it aloud. You can do this alone, with your kids, and even with your friends and family. Think about how much fun it could be to liven up your book club by doing dramatic readings of your favorite passages or most beloved pieces of poetry. Reading aloud helps build confidence in public speaking, engages the mind, and helps to bring stories to life in a way that only compliments the written world. 

If you’re a teacher, consider celebrating the day in your classroom as well, no matter your students’ ages. Have students pair up in groups and take turns reading aloud, or gather the class around in one group and read your favorite text. You can then discuss the text with your class, or have them discuss it in groups. Consider also discussing out-loud reading. If you don’t usually spend time reading, take this day to open up your favorite book (storybooks or novels) and read aloud, whether you’re alone or in a group. You don’t have to wait for World Read Aloud Day to do it either, open up your book and start reading aloud today!

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