World Read Aloud Day celebrates the power of words

A mother reads to her children in the Philippines Picture: Jonathan De Vera/Global Partnership for Education

In 65 countries around the world, teachers and parents will read aloud to children on March 5.

That’s because it’s World Read Aloud Day – an event that saw one million people last year pick up a book and celebrate the power of words.

With 57 million children not in school and almost 800 million people around the world unable to read, World Read Aloud Day brings worldwide attention to the importance of the basic right of literacy.

The event was started four years ago by the grassroots organisation LitWorld.

In a blog for the Huffington Post, its founder Pam Allyn said research showed that “reading aloud to kids every day will put them a year ahead of kids who are not read aloud to daily, regardless of socio-economic circumstances”.

She added: “The message is powerfully clear: Reading aloud to children can close the word gap. Children who grow up as readers become engaged citizens of the global world and every child deserves that right to read.”

The LitWorld website has World Read Aloud Day guides for classrooms, communities, home and even workplaces. They are packed with information, advice and suggestions for adults reading to children.