World Read Aloud Day Date in the current year: February 7, 2024

World Read Aloud Day World Read Aloud Day is observed on the first Wednesday of February every year. It is a global literacy campaign that was launched to bring the tradition of oral storytelling back and strengthen communities through the power of stories.

Stories have been extremely important throughout human history. Way back before the invention of writing, they were the only way to accumulate knowledge and pass it down. Stories brought people together, helped them bond, and nurtured human creativity.

The invention of writing gave humankind the opportunity to write stories down and pass knowledge from generation to generation in handwritten and later also in printed form, but the tradition of storytelling is still alive. Parents and grandparents tell their children fairy tales and other stories. In addition, literacy rates are still very low in some parts of the world, and oral tradition is still prevalent there. 

Reading aloud helps keep the tradition of storytelling alive while simultaneously promoting literacy. It is a great bonding opportunity for children and their parents or parent figures that has a significant positive impact on a child’s development. Reading aloud helps children understand the connection between the spoken and written world, expands their vocabulary, increases their attention span, and boosts their creativity. 

World Read Aloud Day was created in 2010 by the international non-profit organization LitWorld. Literacy expert and author Pam Allen founded LitWorld in 2007 to highlight the importance of stories as one of humankind’s greatest resources and use them to empower kids around the globe, strengthen communities, and bring social change. The seven core values of LitWorld are belonging, confidence, courage, curiosity, friendship, hope, and kindness.

Since its inception, World Read Aloud Day has become a global phenomenon. It is celebrated by millions of people in more than 170 countries, and celebrities like Chelsea Clinton and Sarah Jessica Parker have participated in World Read Aloud Day. The observance is supported by major publishers and other stakeholders that team up with LitWorld to organize World Read Aloud Day events. 

Events hosted by LitWorld and their partners on the occasion of World Read Aloud Day include virtual meetings with authors, virtual read-alouds, games, contests, and more. If you want to celebrate the holiday, you can participate in one of these events or come up with an event of your own! Even if you simply read aloud to your kid and spread the word about the observance on social media with the hashtag #WorldReadAloudDay, it will be enough. 

By the way, World Read Aloud Day is not the only observance that focuses on literacy, reading, and storytelling. Similar holidays include Canadian Family Literacy Day (January 27), Read Across America Day (March 2), World Storytelling Day (coinciding with the vernal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere), National Read a Book Day (September 6), and International Literacy Day (September 8) – and these are just a few examples we came up with on the spot!

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World Read Aloud Day, international observances, global observances, storytelling, literacy, LitWorld