Wednesday, March 9, 2011

World Read Aloud Day--Let's Celebrate Books!

In honor of World Read Aloud Day, let's celebrate books! 

Last year, I had the opportunity to travel to a few schools in Ethiopia.  I had prepared myself for the devastation of poverty, but I had not prepared myself for the lack of literacy.  

According to Ethiopia Reads
Ethiopia is home to an estimated 40 million children where 99% of the schools have no books and where 58% of Ethiopians age 15 and above can’t read.--Ethiopia Reads.
How fortunate our children are, to have been born in a country that embraces literacy and immerses children with print from birth.  

LitWorld is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making early exposure to literacy a worldwide norm.  With LitWorld's development of World Read Aloud Day,  we are...
 ...raising our voices together on this day to 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.
 World Read Aloud Day is about taking action to show the world that the right to read and write belongs to all people.
 Across the globe nearly 171 million children could be lifted out of poverty if they left school with basic reading and writing skills. Quality literacy education is the difference between life and death, prosperity and despair. This is literacy for survival.--LitWorld
We travel back to Ethiopia in 6 days and with us we are bringing the gift of literacy to over 200 children.  Thanks to the support of people around the world, bright colorful texts in English and Amharic will be held by young hands that may have never had the opportunity to turn the pages of a book.  

That experience, has really made me reflect on how fortunate my family has been to own a personal library.  Below are some of our favorite children's books.  

Take a moment today, search your bookshelves, visit the library and treasure the gift of literacy that we have been given and share a book with your child!  

For tips on making the most of your read alouds, visit one of our previous posts, "Bringing the Spark Back To Storytime"