One of the great joys of being a grandma is reading aloud to our grandchildren. Reading aloud to children builds so many important foundational skills that Scholastic and the literacy nonprofit LitWorld are celebrating World Read Aloud Day on February 3 to bring people together through stories.
The global pandemic has disrupted our ability to see our grandchildren and we’re always looking for new ways to connect with them. The act of sharing a story virtually is a simple but powerful way for us to feel close to our grandchildren.
On the Scholastic World Read Aloud Day website, you’ll have free, immediate access to a selection of resources: articles from Scholastic Classroom Magazines, the full version of Click Clack Moo That Type by Doreen Cronin, activities from Scholastic Learn at Home for Families, as well as articles about the importance of reading aloud. The site also features custom illustrations from Malcolm Mitchell’s newly released title, My Very Favorite Book in the Whole Wide World. You’ll also find printable activity sheets and how-to craft projects inspired by Chicken Little by Sam Wedelich, The Serpent’s Secret series by Sayantani DasGupta, The Bad Guys series by Aaron Blabey, the Bunbun & Bonbon series by Jess Keating, and more.
Benefits of Reading Aloud
To learn more about the World Read Aloud Day, I spoke with Karen Burke, proud grandma to 7-year old Victoria and Senior Vice President at Scholastic. Karen told me she knew in the third grade that she wanted to be a teacher. She began her teaching career during her junior year of high school and volunteered to teach English and reading at a school in Argentina. After earning her teaching credential and advanced degrees, she spent three decades serving children and educators. In 2005, she took her passion for literacy to a new level and joined Scholastic Prior to the pandemic, she spent 250 days a year visiting schools across the country and working with educators to develop literacy programs.
Karen explained that reading aloud builds many important foundational skills:
- introducing vocabulary
- providing a model of fluency
- expressive reading
- improving their information processing skills
- helping children recognize the pleasure of reading
When parents and grandparents read aloud to children, they give them a head start in language and literacy skills enabling them to be better prepared in school. Reading aloud to very young children, especially in an engaging manner, promotes emerging literacy and language development.
When you read aloud to your grandchildren, you give the gift of a lifetime interest in reading. You also build their attention span, strengthen their imagination and provide them a valuable opportunity to talk about their feelings.
image credit: World Read Aloud Day Art © 2020 Scholastic Inc.