Today is World Read Aloud Day. I wrote about this annual event last year, and I very strongly wanted to support it again this year. A worldwide movement is taking action to support the right of every single person living in the world today to learn to read and write. To draw attention to the fact that almost 800 million people world wide are illiterate. This is a cause I believe very strongly in, and support wholeheartedly.
The geekdaughter is on the verge of reading. She recognises her letters now, and can write her own name. I can see in her the desire to read, to write, to understand. It is wonderful to watch. It makes me think of myself at her age. Although I can’t actually remember it, my mother says that I taught myself to read, despite her not wanting me to. As a reception teacher herself, her preference was that I learn to read at school, but she couldn’t really prevent me learning when I kept bring books to her asking what particular words said!
We have a house full of books, and read frequently with both kids. They both always have stories at bedtime, and frequently ask for stories at other times of the day as well. Yesterday I bought a magazine for the geekdaughter whilst we were out shopping, and found myself sitting on the floor in the kitchen when we got home, one child on each knee, reading the stories within it. Part of our toilet training with the geekdaughter has been the promise that she gets a new book each time she keeps her pull-up dry overnight, and it’s been a real incentive for her – she has frequently come into our bedroom in the morning waving a dry pull-up and demanding to be read her new story there and then. Although I bemoan the fact that I don’t read “real books” any more, I still spend a lot of my time reading – blogs, websites, documents, emails, texts, etc. And I do still “read” books, except these days they are in digital form (thanks to the iBooks and Kindle apps on my iPhone and iPad) or audio books (thank you Audible!).
I can’t imagine being without books, and I believe everyone in the world should be able to read and be read to.
The following quote from the World Read Aloud Day website explains a little more about what the organisation behind it are trying to achieve.
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.
By raising our voices together on this day we show the world’s children that we support their future: that they have the right to read, to write, and to share their words to change the world.
As my contribution to World Read Aloud Day I have a special treat for you. I recorded the geekdaddy reading the geekdaughter one of her bedtime stories yesterday. I always enjoy listening to the geekdaddy reading to the kids because he makes a great job at it, particularly doing different voices to really bring the characters to life, and I have wanted to share this particular story with you for a while. I hope you enjoy it!
If the video is not visible above you may watch it on YouTube.