Saturday 19th March was International Read to Me! Day. The initiative supports children's reading, improving literacy across Australia and encourages parents to read more with their kids. It is a day when children from all around the world were encouraged to ask someone to read to them. If you hadn’t heard of it, it is because this year, 2016, was the first year it has been held.
The brainchild of Emma Mactaggart, founder of Boogie Books and the Childwrites Foundation, the day is recognizing that not every child has someone that will read to them. It also recognizes the importance of being read to actually increases learning. Emma wants children to be encouraged to ask different people to read to them. Even making yourself available at a local school for children to ask to be read to, would go a long way in your own community to help the local children.
In the immortal words if four year old Charlotte, who I recently interviewed when I asked, “Why do you like books?” Her answer: “Because they are good and when people read to you, you can learn how to read. You can look at pictures. When you are older it helps you to read.”
So here is my roundup of what I saw of the day on social media:
So what did I do for International to Me! Day? Due to some ill health through the last couple of weeks, I was unable to organise anything with anyone. So I had to wing it. If I had had more time, the local bookstore was interested in holding a community event to promote it. My children are adults, so no young children were readily available. So instead, I turned up unannounced to my local library, hoping that there would be some random child to read to.
Did I find any children? No. I did not. Not one child! And I was there for nearly two hours. It seemed as if all the local children had disappeared. Even the neighbourhood children, who are normally running around outside at some point through the day, did not surface for the entire day.
So what did I do? I called on the family that I interviewed a couple of weeks ago. “Would your kids like me to read to them?” It was a resounding, "Yes please!" So that is what I did. It was so much fun.
Charlotte asked me to read, 'The Pirate who had to Pee.' It is hilarious.
And when was the last time you read Fox in Sox? For that is what Emily asked me to read to her. That book is a tongue twister that left the girls in stitches. Yep. I have dyslexia and still get my p's and b's and d's confused.
When Kaitlin brought out, 'The Monster at the End of the Book - Starring lovable, furry old Grover,' I got all excited. I love this book and it is so much fun to read.
I am so thankful for the girls asking me to read to them.
Next year, now that I know about this very special day, I will be helping to organise something special in the community. I am looking forward to it. In the meantime, I am making myself available as a reader. I love books. I love stories. And I love reading them and sharing them with others, especially children.
Feel free to share your day here and what you did to celebrate.
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