Wednesday, February 20, 2013

"What Is Special About Reading Aloud?"....WRAD Read It Forward Blogging Challenge Week 1

World Read Aloud Day is only a few weeks away and we are having a wonderful time making plans.  

This year LitWorlds is hosting an ongoing World Read Aloud Day Read It Forward Blogging Challenge.  You can learn more about it by visiting  

What do you think is special about reading aloud?

When I was a little girl, my mom read to my sister Heather, my brother Ryan, and I everyday.  She would ask us what we wanted to read and I would run and get Rosie's Walk or Frog and Toad Are Friends. We listened to these books over and over again....enjoying them more and more each time.  My grandma, who lived right down the road from us read all of our favorites at her house too.  We had our very own little home library and loved reading books to each other.  I remember reading to my brother when he was a baby....taking on the voice of the characters within each book and falling into the story each time.  

One of my favorite things to do as a mom and aunt is to read to the little people that I love.  We have a big collection of picture books at our house.  My mom saved our books so a lot of these are from my childhood.  I read Goodnight Moon to my three children over and over, just like my mom did.  Then to see my older two, Brianna and Brady, hold the same book that my mom read to me when I was little and read it to their little brother, Hagan, was so special.  

When we find a new picture book for our family collection, I love reading it aloud to my whole family....even though they laugh at me for being so excited.  I am always happy when they pick up a book and read it to me too.  One of my favorite memories will always be the first time my own children read aloud to me.  Watching them turn the pages, the tone of their sweet voice, and the sounds they were making to sound like me as I read to them...such a special memory.  

Illustrations are another love of mine.  They enrich the words within a book and make the whole story come to life.  When I read aloud, I always talk about the illustrations first.  I want the children to understand how unique and special illustrations are to the books.  I love watching their faces when I turn the pages....not just the reaction to the words but their reaction to what they see on the pages.  The power of the illustrations and words playing off of one another is such a wonderful experience each time and leads to the gift of reading aloud.        
As a teacher librarian, reading aloud to my students is one of my most favorite times of each day.  From picking a book to share on the shelf or from my personal collection, gathering them around our reading chiar, opening up the cover of a new one for the first time, and hearing them react and make connections to the words and illustrations....A fun experience I never get tired of.  

Being in a K-12 school building, the high schoolers also come to the elementary library to use our picture books. I then love going to their classrooms to see how they are using the picture books.  There is nothing like sharing a picture book with any age.  I think we have a personal connection to picture books and the memories that they evoke.  
How are you going to be celebrating World Read Aloud Day?

This will be my third year celebrating World Read Aloud Day.  The Animoto is from my dear friend John Schu and I's celebration the first year.  It will give you a few ideas as you watch.  

On March 6th, we will be celebrating World Read Aloud Day with special activities, visitors, and lots of reading aloud to one another.  Our community comes together by supporting the gift and right to read with very special activities and events.  This will be the third year that we have celebrated at Van Meter School and it is always on of the most exciting days of the year. 

One of the best parts of World Read Aloud Day are the connections that we make with other children, teachers, librarian, authors, illustrators, and friends from around the world.  If it is listening to them read, reading a book together, or singing along to the words....the celebration of reading aloud is what we lift up on this day. 

This year several of our favorite authors, including Seymour Simon, Tom Angelberger, Cece Bell, Erica Perl, Donne Gephart, Laurel Synder, Jesse Klausmeier, and a few others will be Skyping with us and reading aloud to our students.  Our friends at Mackin, Rosen Publishing, BiblioNasium, Symbaloo, and Mark Moran, founder of FindingDulcinea, will read their favorite books.  

We will be Skyping with our friends in Iowa, Georgia, Chicago, Florida, Philadelphia, New York, Texas, and Connecticut.  During one of our visits to a school in Florida, we will be having a little "Pig Party" including farm themed books and eBooks, and a special Iowa friend named Bacon, who is a pot-bellied pig.  At the end of the day, our "Somewhat Virtual Book Club" will be gathering together for our monthly book club.  This is a group we started two years ago with our secondary students in several different schools throughout the United States. 

We hope you will all join us in celebrating literacy on March 6th for World Read Aloud Day.  Please register for World Read Aloud Day and bring your children, family, students, teachers, friends, parents, community, network, work place, church and the world along.  

We can't wait to hear how you are going to celebrate.  You can connect with LitWorlds on Twitter at @litworldsays and by using the hashtag #WRAD13 for World Read Aloud Day.  Also, on the LitWorld Facebook page.  Please let us know. 

It's time for all of us to join the global literacy movement.  We can all make a difference.  

And reading aloud to the ones we connect with everyday is one way to make this difference.  
Join the Movement.  Read Aloud.  Change The World.  
This blog post was shared during the first week of the "Blogging Contest"on eMackin, an electronic monthly newsletter from Mackin Educational Resources, where I write at "Shannon Share's.  

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