Share stories for World Read Aloud Day on Feb. 16

Literacy reigns as one of the core factors of social change throughout history, and has the profound power to change lives – especially those of children. When children read, their imaginations leap to life and thousands of neural connections are formed.

World Read Aloud Day, created by Litworld, is on Thursday, Feb. 16. The international holiday honors the wish of a young boy whose hope is that anyone is to be able to experience the joy of reading aloud. The celebration advocates awareness that every child deserves the right to read, and has gained tremendous momentum since its inception – over 65 countries internationally.

Professionals in the community are invited to schedule a read aloud connection with Skype in the Classroom, an online community that has rallied authors and classrooms for the special literacy festivities. Educators and community leaders are encouraged to participate. Parents are urged to share the joy of reading aloud with their children and take advantage of Litworld’s free read aloud activity packet.

Southwest Human Development programs like Reach Out and Read encourage reading aloud to children to teach word sound awareness, build curiosity and memory, the ability to listen and create a positive association between books and reading. The National Education Association reports that 26 percent of children who are read to at least three or four times a week by a family member recognize all letters of the alphabet. Reading aloud is a key component of language development as young children form new brain connections.

It’s never too early to bring the joy of reading into your child’s life. The National Education Association suggests these tips to make reading aloud with your child fun and memorable:

  • Read in various voices to bring the characters to life
  • Turn off electronics and find a cozy, quiet area to read
  • Let your young child participate by turning the pages
  • Ask your child about their favorite parts of the story
  • Read slowly so your child has enough time to absorb the story and look at illustrations

Southwest Human Development challenges you to celebrate World Read Aloud Day all year long by reading aloud to your children 20 minutes each day. When children are converted to lifelong readers, the possibilities are endless.