Today is World Read Aloud Day, sponsored by LitWorld.
World Read Aloud Day is about taking action to show the world that the right to read and write belongs to all people. World Read Aloud Day motivates children, teens, and adults worldwide to celebrate the power of words, especially those words that are shared from one person to another, and creates a community of readers advocating for every child’s right to a safe education and access to books and technology.I have wonderful memories or reading aloud to our children. When Mitch was first old enough to get the concept of words and numbers, everything he "read" said "BR9". Although he was still too young to string letters into words, he understood that we read the letters on a page. We never really understood what "BR9" meant, but we were thrilled he was looking at books.
When Amanda wanted to hear a story, she would find a book, open it to the first page and grip it in both hands, then silently back up to a seated adult and wait to be lifted and read to. If they didn't take the hint, she would glance over her shoulder and demand "Read!".
When Harry Potter-mania started, our kids were too young to read them on their own, and we had concerns about content amid all the hype. So, when Mitch wanted to be "in" on the craze that everyone was talking about, we spent hours on the porch swing and I read the first book aloud. Not sure if it was the story or my reading, but he never seemed interested in reading further - perhaps he read the others on his own? - but it's a sweet memory and a great way for parents to know what their kids are reading.
Even in high school, Amanda liked to be read to, and seemed to focus better when the story was read aloud. We read To Kill a Mockingbird and several other school-assigned books, cuddled on her bed - usually with me reading while rubbing her back.
On a side note: I read nearly every book our children were assigned, from kindergarten through high school, just to be aware of what they were learning and to be able to discuss it. When Mitch's 4th-grade class read Holes, I was appalled at the idea of 9-year-olds reading this dark, frightning story of a boy who is wrongfully accused and sentenced to a juvenile prison camp where he is forced to dig holes all day. I feared nightmares! He loved it and found nothing scary about it.
Regular blog readers know that Dave and I continue to read aloud - mostly in the car. We travel enough that we keep a "together book" for road time. Sometimes we'll continue it in the house if we're at a gripping point in the story and there is no road trip in the forseeable future. Our favorite "read together" books have been Stephen King's Under The Dome and 11/22/63. We strongly encourage this practice - it promotes a shared interest and starts interesting discussions.
Please check out LitWorld's site, see how you can be part of World Read Aloud Day, and - most of all - read aloud with someone you love.