INTERNATIONAL READ TO ME DAY
Every year on March 19th, children are encouraged to remind the adults in their life to read to them. The day also empowers children to participate in the conversation about their own literacy.
You have probably heard that it takes a village to raise a child. On International Read to Me Day, anyone in a child’s village are encouraged to read to them. This could be a parent, grandparent, teacher, librarian, mentor, older sibling, or a friend of the family. It doesn’t matter who does the reading. All that matters is that anyone in the child’s village reads to them on a regular basis.
Children who are read to 3 to 4 times a week have reading ages that are six months ahead of those who only get read to once or twice a week. Reading to children every day nearly doubles their progress. This means these children are one year ahead of other children. When children are read to, or they read themselves, it can help them perform well on reading tests.
Other benefits of reading to children include:
- teaching children about the world around them
- helping improve their vocabulary and language skills
- developing their imagination
- helping them develop empathy
- quality time for adults and children to spend together
Children love being read to, so why not enjoy this activity with them as often as possible? They will greatly benefit from it if you do.
HOW TO OBSERVE #InternationalReadToMeDay
Schools, libraries, and communities all around the world take part in this day. The best way to take part is to read a book to a child. If you don’t have children of your own, find a child in your life and spend time reading to them. You could even read to a group of children.
If you’re looking for book ideas, here are some classics for children of all ages:
- Charlotte’s Web by E.B White
- Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
- The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
- The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
- Oh, the Places You’ll Go! By Dr. Seuss
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
- The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
Other ways to participate including going to your local library or bookstore for story hour. You could also organize a book drive in your community. This is one day that you can #CelebrateEveryDay. Don’t forget to share this day on social media with #InternationalReadToMeDay.
INTERNATIONAL READ TO ME DAY HISTORY
Emma Mactaggart, the founder of a literacy advocacy organization called Child Writes, founded International Read to Me Day in 2018. Child Writes is based in Australia but International Read to Me Day has spread to other countries including the UK, Canada, Iran, and Panama. One of Mactaggart’s famous quotes is, “It takes a village to raise a child and it takes a child to inspire a village.”
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