NEW YORK, Jan. 24, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- In an ongoing effort to encourage reading aloud to kids of all ages, the global literacy non-profit LitWorld and title sponsor Scholastic, the global children's publishing, education, and media company, today announced February 1, 2018 as this year's World Read Aloud Day, an advocacy day that calls attention to the importance of reading aloud and sharing stories. Research from Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report™ found a majority of children ages 6–17 from the U.S., U.K., Australia, India, and Canada reported they love (or loved) read-aloud time at home because "it's a special time with my parent," yet many parents stop reading aloud to their children as they get older.
Now in its ninth year, World Read Aloud Day will take place on February 1 to celebrate the pleasure of reading aloud alongside Harry Potter Book Night, when fans around the world celebrate J.K. Rowling's much-loved book series. Over the past 20 years, classrooms and families have enjoyed reading Harry Potter aloud and have shared a special bond around this ever-popular series.
Harry Potter Book Night is an annual celebration that is all about passing on the magic of J.K. Rowling's books to the next generation of readers, as well as celebrating with devoted fans. It was started in the U.K. in 2015 by Bloomsbury Children's Books and is now celebrated in 39 different countries with over 10,000 parties taking place around the world. Scholastic is delighted to bring Harry Potter Book Night to the U.S. in 2018. This year's magical theme is Fantastic Beasts and a free, downloadable kit is available at: harrypotterbooks.scholastic.com/harrypotterbooknight.
To encourage classrooms and families across the world to discover the power and joy of reading aloud the Harry Potter series and other beloved titles, World Read Aloud Day 2018 activities include:
- LitWorld Events: Millions of people celebrate World Read Aloud Day annually in all 50 U.S. states, and more than 100 countries worldwide. Individuals register their participation online at litworld.org/wrad. Authors visit classrooms in-person and via video chat to read their work to students of all ages. Schools, communities, and households around the world host unique WRAD festivities, including inter-school assemblies, community marches and read-aloud events small and large in a variety of public and private venues. LitWorld will visit schools and community centers across NYC to engage students with 7 Strengths-based read-aloud activities.
- 7 Strengths Video Series: Scholastic has created a video series harnessing LitWorld's 7 Strengths, as featured in Pam Allyn and Ernest Morrell's professional book Every Child a Super Reader. Each week leading up to World Read Aloud Day, we will share one video featuring a Scholastic author and/or literacy expert who will share their favorite read aloud book that highlights one of the 7 Strengths—Belonging, Kindness, Curiosity, Friendship, Confidence, Courage, and Hope. Authors and literacy experts include Pam Allyn (Founder of LitWorld), John Schumacher (Ambassador of School Libraries for Scholastic Book Fairs), Donalyn Miller (Scholastic Book Fairs Manager of Independent Reading), Kate Messner (author), Andrea Davis Pinkney (author and Coretta Scott King Award-winner), Pam Muñoz Ryan (author and Newbery Honor-winner), and Nell K. Duke (professor of language, literacy, and culture, University of Michigan).
- Blog for Educators: Pam Allyn shares her top tips for reading aloud in a special guest post on edu@scholastic, Scholastic's blog about education and learning.
- Facebook Live: On January 31 at 12pm EST / 9am PST, Scholastic will host a Facebook Live with Pam Allyn, Executive Director of LitWorld and founder of World Read Aloud Day. During the Facebook Live, Pam will share best practices for reading picture books and chapter books aloud to children of all ages.
- Read Aloud Educator Sweepstakes: From December 4, 2017 through January 12, 2018, U.S. educators entered for a chance to win read-aloud resources for their classroom by sharing a photo on Twitter or Instagram using #WorldReadAloudDay and #Sweepstakes showing what reading aloud means to them and their students.
- My Very Own Library Events: During the month of February, Scholastic Book Fairs, in collaboration with the non-profit literacy organization My Very Own Library, will be hosting events at schools in Chicago, IL; Milwaukee, WI; Kansas City, MO; Newark, NJ; Richmond, CA; Delaware; and the Dominican Republic. At each event, students will enjoy read-aloud moments with popular Scholastic authors and will receive three brand-new books of their choice to add to their home library.
In addition, various Scholastic International locations are gearing up to celebrate World Read Aloud Day around the globe, including: Australia, Africa, Asia, Canada, India, Latin America, Puerto Rico, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and more. These locations will be hosting various read-aloud family events at schools, bookstores and libraries, and sharing free downloadable read-aloud resources for families and educators online.
Pam Allyn, Executive Director of LitWorld:
"We are so thrilled and delighted to once again partner with Scholastic to continue a worldwide movement, World Read Aloud Day, for the power of reading to influence, inspire, and transform the lives of young people everywhere. We know that books and stories are companions to every journey, resilience-builders for every child, and lifelong tools for independence and autonomy for everyone. Join us on February 1 and every day to build a world of hope and possibility through the profound joy of reading together."
Richard Robinson, Chairman, President and CEO of Scholastic:
"Scholastic is proud to support LitWorld and help provide the resources needed to ensure children across the globe experience read aloud time in school and at home. This year, World Read Aloud Day will be celebrated together with Harry Potter Book Night on February 1, encouraging even more children to discover the power and joy of reading aloud by exploring the magical worlds, characters, and stories that await them inside beloved books including Harry Potter."
Join the conversation using #WorldReadAloudDay.
For more information about LitWorld, visit litworld.org.
For more information about Scholastic, visit the media room at mediaroom.scholastic.com.
For more information about Harry Potter Book Night, visit https://harrypotter.bloomsbury.com/uk/harry-potter-book-night/.