World Read Aloud Day is an international advocacy day, founded by LitWorld, with a mission to underscore the importance of global literacy, promote reading aloud and the power of literacy. It is simple to participate. Just read aloud. The next World Read Aloud Day is February 1, 2023. In the meantime, every day can include some read-aloud time in your own home!
Why is reading aloud important? A 2015 study (PDF) found that children are exposed to a larger vocabulary from picture books read aloud than from conversations with adults. This is because we tend to speak with the same 5000 most popular words; while books — even picture books — are more likely to use words outside that popular 5000. Sometimes reading aloud can be easier said than done, but we have some resources and literacy tips to make it easier – even on the difficult days.
How will You Celebrate World Read Aloud Day?
Gianna thinks of family reading time as a way to Go on a Family Adventure Without Leaving Your House. She offers some of her favorite ways to make reading time fun for the whole family. You could set your own World Read Aloud Day theme – pick something that interests your kids – like Unicorns or a theme you want to share – like Kindness. Then choose a pile of books based on that theme.
World Read Aloud Day Ideas and Activities
LitWorld, the creators of World Read Aloud Day offer free resources with activity ideas, tips for reading aloud, printable activity sheets, and resources for more information. In 2023 WRAD has partnered with Scholastic. To get your a activity guide, sign up with Scholastic and they will email a kit.
Past ideas for celebrating at home have included some of the following activities:
- Host a “World Read Aloud Day Book Fest” with family and friends. This would be a great excuse to skype with the cousins! Brave families could bring their own poetry, essays or short stories to share.
- Post pictures on social media of your family reading your favorite books. Definitely tag #WorldReadAloudDay, but we would love it if you would tag us to, so we can see all your great pictures and hear your own stories of how you celebrated!
- Become a Volunteer Reader. Kids can become Rescue Readers, reading aloud to and sharing the power of words with dogs and cats awaiting adoption at the Animal Humane Society.
- Suggestions of how to choose what to read aloud. It doesn’t have to be books.
- Tips for reading aloud at home.
World Read Aloud Day Bookmarks
Another fun idea to celebrate is to sit together and color WRAD’s printable bookmarks prior to February 1st and then distribute them to friends and family – like Valentines Cards but a book holiday! What could be more universal than stories?
Let Someone Else Read Aloud:
If you would rather have someone else read aloud:
- Anne has collected a list of story times around the Twin Cities. You can also find story hours on our calendar.
- We have also had great luck searching YouTube and Spotify by specific book title. This is a particularly awesome idea when it is a book your child loves but you do not.
- Grandparents could include story times in their regular video chats with grandkids. What a great idea for sharing their own beloved children’s books with a new generation and making zoom calls a special time for bonding.
Find Local Children’s Book Authors in our Directory
We have begun building a resource that we are incredibly excited and proud to share: the Bookhounds Author Directory! Here is where we will share up-to-date information on all our favorite authors. We have been slowly moving the majority of our author information, interviews and reviews into their individual directory posts so that our readers can find parental reviews, author bios and tidbits, and links to purchase books all in one place. We hope to make it a powerful tool, not only for encouraging literacy in our children, but supporting the vibrant and creative community where we live.
I do warn you that our homes are overflowing with books since we started collecting children’s books by local authors, but it is a fun and addictive hobby and, like we shared in the first paragraph, we are exposing our kids to so much vocabulary!
Good Books to Read on World Read Aloud Day
We are so blessed in Minnesota to have a wonderful community of local Children’s book authors. We have had the privilege to both review some of their books and to interview the authors. Here are some of our favorite reviews and interviews:
- Punk Skunks by Trisha Speed Shaskan and Stephen Shaskan
- A Dog is a Dog by Stephen Shaskan
- The Ella and Penguin Books by Megan Maynor
- How Martha Saved Her Parents From Green Beans by David LaRochelle
- BookHounds Invites: David LaRochelle, Celebrating Parents, Kids and Books
- This is NOT a Cat by David LaRochelle and Illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka
- North Woods Girl by Aimee Bissonette
- Bonus BookHounds – Interview with Aimee Bissonette
- D’aulaires Book of Norwegian Folktales by Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire
- One North Star by Phyllis Root
- Bel the Weather Girl by Belinda Jensen
- The Emmy series by Lynne Jonell
- The Quirks and Puppy Pirates series by Erin Soderberg
- BookHounds Invites Rick Chrustowski in ‘The Case of Habitats & Homes’
- Stephanie Watson Books: Elvis & Olive books, Behold! A Baby & more.
- Molly Beth Griffin picture books
- Books by Mary Casanova, Multigenre Author for Young Readers
- John Coy offers so many great books, especially geared toward boys
- Drew Brockington‘s Catstronauts are fun for kids of all ages/
How to Tackle the Dreaded 20 Minutes of Daily Reading
I honestly don’t know why making reading an assignment instantly makes it harder to do, but it does. So we’ve developed some ways to get the homework assignment of 20 Minutes of Reading done daily, so we can go back to reading for the pure enjoyment of it.
More Resources for Parents
- Children’s Minnesota shares 7 simple strategies for parents on how to build confidence in reading and help kids enjoy reading.
- A a 2012 School Readiness Study conducted by the Minnesota Department of Education found that parental income is a major factor in a child’s school success. In response, we found 10 budget-friendly ways to combat that statistic and increase a child’s odds of doing well in school. These are things you can do regardless of your own education level, financial situation or cultural background.
- In an interview with scholastic author and literacy expert, Pam Allyn has shared thoughts for caregivers and parents about reading aloud at home.
- 5 ways your family can support the global literacy movement.
- Why Reading Aloud Matters The Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report by Scholastic Stores Online.
Note: If you landed here looking for World Loud Reading Day, as far as I can tell, it doesn’t exist. I don’t think it is necessary for you to shout. Cuddle up and use your indoor voice.