International Read to Me Day Date in the current year: March 19, 2024

International Read to Me Day International Read to Me Day is celebrated annually on March 19. It was created to remind adults about the importance of reading to their children and to encourage children to ask their parents or other adults in their life to read to them.

Reading to children is essential for their development. It gets them interested in the activity of reading, improves their speech and language skills that are crucial for successful learning, expands their vocabulary, fosters creativity, enhances concentration and discipline, and increases attention span. Finally, reading to children is a great bonding activity that strengthens family relationships; it feels more intimate than, say, watching Netflix together.

Unfortunately, most parents don’t read to their children very often for a variety of reasons such as feeling too exhausted after a long day at work, being too busy with the nighttime routine, working nights or irregular shifts, etc. Many parents stop reading to their children once they can read on their own, not realizing that reading to your children isn’t just about, well, reading; it’s about spending quality time with them. Psychologists generally recommend to read to children until they tell you they don’t want you to anymore.

Many children wish their parents didn’t stop reading to them, but they don’t dare to ask. International Read to Me Day was created to empower children by offering them an opportunity to ask their parents, grandparents, older siblings, other family members, teachers, and other grown-ups in their life to read to them.

International Read to Me Day was launched in 2018 by Australian author, speaker and publisher Emma Mactaggart, the founder of Child Writes. Child Writes is a literary advocacy program that aims to empower primary school aged children and give them a voice by providing them an opportunity to create their own picture books. To support her program, Mactaggart established the Child Writes Fund, a registered charity that, among other things, coordinates International Read to Me Day.

International Read to Me Day events and activities are held by schools, libraries, bookstores, charities, and other stakeholders around the globe. They include book readings, book drives, literacy awareness campaigns, and more. You can celebrate the holiday by attending an event in your community or hosting an event of your own, reading a book to a child in your life, donating children’s books to your local library, and spreading the world about the holiday using the hashtags #InternationalReadToMeDay and #ReadToMeDay.

International Read to Me Day is not the only holiday that celebrates the power of reading and storytelling and highlights their role in family bonding. Similar holidays include Family Literacy Day in Canada (January 27), World Read Aloud Day (February 1), Tell a Fairy Tale Day (February 26), Read Across America Day (March 2, typically observed on the closest school day), World Storytelling Day (spring equinox in the Northern Hemisphere), International Read Comics in Public Day (August 28), National Read a Book Day (September 6), and International Read an eBook Day (September 18).

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International Read to Me Day, international observances, reading to children, benefits of reading to children