Celebrating the Power of Storytelling with Our Friends at LitWorld
Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) is excited to share this blog post from our partner, LitWorld as they prepare to celebrate World Read Aloud Day® (WRAD). All of us at RIF share this commitment to shared reading experiences and every day, work to support educators and families with tools for read-alouds. In fact, we encourage you to check out our Rally to Read 100 website featuring read-alouds from acclaimed authors for you to enjoy as part of WRAD.
Amber Peterson is the Director of Program Innovation for LitWorld. She has been leading the WRAD charge at LitWorld for the past nine years.
What is WRAD and why did LitWorld Start it?
Every day at LitWorld is WRAD, but the first Wednesday of February is simply the day we make the biggest deal about it! Reading aloud has always been a cornerstone of LitWorld’s work. Working in communities all around the world, we’ve seen the power of oral storytelling to bring people together, amplify stories and new perspectives, and improve literacy skills. According to a study done by the University of Melbourne, reading aloud to children daily puts them a full year ahead of children who do not receive a daily read aloud, and that’s regardless of income, education level, or background. Reading aloud is an accessible and powerful tool for helping young people celebrate stories and become lifelong readers and learners. Since 2010, WRAD has evolved into a global movement and has reached millions of readers, writers, and listeners from 170 countries across the world, all coming together to honor the joy and power of reading while continuing to expand the definition and scope of global literacy. WRAD brings us together to celebrate the power of storytelling across the barriers of geography, space, and time.
What is #TellEveryStory?
WRAD has always been an opportunity for LitWorld to celebrate the beautiful diversity of our international community and the range of stories and perspectives they provide. Advocating for stories that represent the full rainbow of our human experiences is baked into the mission of WRAD, and #TellEveryStory is a call to action and celebration of the importance of diversity in storytelling and the need for us to hear stories from every perspective.
At a moment when stories are distorted, censored, and unrealized, sharing our perspective and experience is its own act of bravery - our ability to declare to the world that“we are here!” In order to imagine and actualize a brighter future for our children and one another we must #TellEveryStory and advocate for others to do the same. WRAD is the perfect opportunity for us to provide a platform for those stories.
How do people celebrate WRAD?
WRAD is an opportunity to bring people together to celebrate stories! Whether you do so in a classroom, boardroom, or at home, finding time to share stories with the people in your community is an act of advocacy and fun!
Explore some ways to make WRAD a day to remember:
- Host A Read-Aloud Event - Organize a celebration where you bring people together in person or online to enjoy a read-aloud!
- Become a WRADvocate - Champion WRAD and the power of reading aloud and storytelling! Celebrate loudly by sharing your thoughts, stories, and WRAD actions on social media! Organize a book drive for your neighborhood community center or volunteer to read aloud via video conference to a local classroom. Find ways to advocate for storytelling and reading aloud in whatever ways you can!
- Start Your Own Storytelling Traditions - Use WRAD as an opportunity to establish new storytelling habits with your family and friends. Start a weekly read-aloud night at home or begin a book club with your coworkers.
- Visit litworld.org/worldreadaloudday for more suggestions and resources for celebrating WRAD including booklists, activities, challenges, virtual read alouds, live events, and more!
*If you are interested in finding additional ways to impact children’s literacy in your community while celebrating WRAD, be sure to check out RIF’s Be a Reader Toolkit, our Book Drive Toolkit, as well as our many read-aloud tips!
What are you doing on WRAD?
I’ll be celebrating with LitWorld by hosting some phenomenal Scholastic authors on StoryVoice live! It’s free and easy for anyone to access. Go to litworld.org/worldreadaloudday to find the live lineup of virtual events! I’ll also be celebrating at home with my 2-year-old nephew! It’s never too early to embrace the WRAD spirit!
LitWorld is a nonprofit that works with grassroots organizations around the world to strengthen kids and communities through the power of story. By providing resources, curriculum, and training support LitWorld engages children in deep literacy exploration, ensuring young people have access to spaces where they are free to explore their identities, discover their strengths, and express their dreams.
In 2010, LitWorld started WRAD to celebrate the power of reading aloud, to create community, to amplify new stories, and to advocate for literacy as a foundational human right. WRAD falls on the first Wednesday of every February. WRAD 2024 is February 7th!