March 6, 2013, is World Read Aloud Day, an awareness day advocating for literacy as a human right. The event is championed by LitWorld, a non-profit literacy organization fostering resilience, hope, and joy through the power of story. Since 2010, the organization has been encouraging people worldwide to celebrate by reading aloud, giving away a book, or taking action in any way you can to “Read It Forward” on behalf of the 793 million people who cannot yet read or write.
As LitWorld describes it, World Read Aloud Day creates a community of people who are advocating for every child’s right to learn to read and technology that will make them lifelong readers. Read It Forward creates a ripple effect that resonates around the world with the power of story and shared words.
LitWorld invites everyone to visit them online to join the Read It Forward movement. They offer free downloadable activity kits full of ideas for children, teens, families, educators, and professionals. You can also follow LitWorld on Facebook and Twitter.
Countless articles and studies tout the many benefits of reading aloud – of teachers, parents and caregivers reading to children, children to adults, children to each other, aspiring writers of any age reading aloud to themselves. Less documented, perhaps, but equally enjoyable and potent, is adults celebrating the joys of reading with each other. Here among my book blog reviews, I’ve noted that most satisfying practice as enhancing and even markedly improving upon the reading experience with some books, including:
- A Ride in the Sun, or Gasoline Gypsy, by Peggy Iris Thomas
- Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend, by Larry Tye
- Inside of a Dog, by Alexandra Horowitz
At our house, we’re enjoying this as our read aloud book du jour:
Big Day Coming: Yo La Tengo and the Rise of Indie Rock, by Jesse Jarnow
All pretty varied subjects and subject matter, but what they share and what makes them all great are passionate narrators telling lively, vibrant stories with arresting characters (in these cases, all real life) … which makes it a rewarding experience to bring them to life with your own voice and to share them with others.
However you choose to observe World Read Aloud Day, do it with gusto!