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What a week for reading!

This is going to be a lovely week (or two) for the readers of the world!

1. March 1st is the 15th annual World Book Day, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world.

The site (with a bit of UK flavor) offers a lovely variety of promotional materials and free downloadable resources–lesson plans and activities for kids of all ages: nursery, primary and secondary.

I am especially excited about celebrating with the new World Book Day App, available soon from the App Store.

This brand new App features exclusive new short stories from Malorie Blackman, Neil Gaiman, Charlie Higson, Anthony Horowitz, Sophie McKenzie and Rachel Vincent! And as if that wasn’t enough (well, you can never have too much great writing) there are also fantastic sample chapters of from some of the best Young Adult writers around today, plus news, videos and extras. The App will be updated with new samples, news, videos and special offers throughout the year.

2. March 2nd is NEA’s Read Across America, the annual reading motivation and awareness program is celebrated on the birthday of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss. The NEA site features fabulous promotional materials–logos, a beautiful resource calendar, certificates, Seuss-gestions, a celebratory poem, Lorax posters, reading lists, and much more.

3. Get ready for March 7th, the second ever World ReadAloud Day. LitWorld, the nonprofit international literacy organization sponsoring the day, offers a variety of celebration options and resources (including a fabulous WRAD 2012 Kit) and a full schedule of workshops and read-aloud sessions by notable authors. Though the actual event will be hosted by Books of Wonder in New York, all children will be able to enjoy the video stream of the day’s read-alouds and chats.

LitWorld describes the purpose of a day devoted to and celebrating reading:

World Read Aloud Day is about taking action to show the world that the right to read and write belongs to all people. World Read Aloud Day motivates children, teens, and adults worldwide to celebrate the power of words, especially those words that are shared from one person to another, and creates a community of readers advocating for every child’s right to a safe education and access to books and technology.

In her blog, author Kate Messner describes her involvement in last year’s WRAD event and how a growing number of authors plan to participated via Skype this year as well.

I am excited about playing a small role in this year’s WRAD festivities with my buddies, Shannon Miller (Van Meter, IA) and Michelle Luhtala, (New Canaan, CT) and Rocco Staino, contributing editor for School Library Journal and chair of the Empire State Center for the Book and our WRAD student leaders. Michael and Molly, two of Michelle’s students, created our WRAD Connect Facebook Community Page. Don’t miss Michelle’s read-aloud of Langston Hughes’ Juke Box Love Song with art by Romare Bearden.

The fabulous Michael is currently organizing our March 7th schedule. And he will be (bravely!) hosting the talk show.

You can join us! We are currently collecting video responses to the prompt, Tell us about a story that changed your world. Our Springfield responses are being collected here. Here’s a compilation of four Van Meter students’ responses and my own Erin describing the impact of Little Women on her life.

Please consider contributing your students’ responses to our video collection. As Shannon writes: Videos can be uploaded to the Facebook page, to Flickr, via email, or anywhere else! Short and unrehearsed is preferable – people of all ages, clips in all languages are welcome! We created a form for contributors to fill out, so that we have an “inventory” of WRAD contributions, regardless of where they are published. Here is the form.

Please also feel free to visit our WRAD show on March 7. Students will contact authors and other students to interview between 11AM and 2PM Eastern.

They will also select and feature the video submissions.

The entire program will be broadcast live.

We’ll post a link as soon as we have one.

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


  1. This sounds like a wonderful idea, can we submit videos AFTER 3/7 for inclusion somewhere else? Thank you!

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