February 24th is World Read Aloud Day, and on that day something extraordinary will happen. People across the country and around the world will come together at home, at school, at work and in their communities to read aloud. From the northernmost part of Alaska to Myanmar to southern New Zealand and everywhere in between, shared stories will unite us all as a global community of readers.

LitWorld, an international literacy non-profit, created World Read Aloud Day to advocate for every child’s right to literacy, and to help them become lifelong readers. Over one million people in 100 countries celebrate and take action on World Read Aloud Day.

The magic of the World Read Aloud Day movement is that it empowers people of all ages to create positive change in the world through the simple, powerful act of reading aloud. Research shows that reading aloud to a child each day leads to a reading ability that is one year ahead of a child who does not hear a read aloud each day – a result that transcends socioeconomics. In fact, read aloud frequency is a top predictor of reading success.

For all who grew up immersed in the ritual and routine of reading aloud, this measurable impact will come as no surprise. Reading aloud has the inherent ability to connect us to one another and to build a sense of community between reader and listener. For children who do not yet identify as readers, or who have been labeled as “struggling readers” for many years, reading aloud is a warm invitation to dive deeply into the world of story. Free from the obstacle of decoding or overcoming the mechanics of reading, children are able to think at a higher level about the story, plot and characters while soaking in the rhythm of the language.

LitWorld invites you to join the World Read Aloud Day movement. Visit the LitWorld website for everything you need to plan your celebration – it is not too late to start! Download free classroom and community kits that contain read aloud tips, discussion guides and storytelling activities, and learn how to schedule a Skype read aloud with an author or classroom. Don’t forget to register your participation to see your city on the World Read Aloud Day map. Make sure to spread the word on social media to invite your friends and followers to join the fun.

On World Read Aloud Day we delight in giving the gift of stories to one another and commit to making the read aloud a part of our daily lives to help every child develop into a lifelong reader. Read aloud, change the world.

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