Sharing stories with children is one of my favorite parts of my job. That's why I loved being able to participate in World Read Aloud Day yesterday. I previewed my WRAD format last month; I called it "guerrilla story time" on Twitter, emphasizing that my goal was to engage children who happened to be in the library on March 6 with an unexpected story time. That's exactly what happened, too.
My coworkers and I read 12 books and poetry selections for World Read Aloud Day--one for every hour the library was open. We announced the events over the PA system, and as we walked back to Picture Book City to do the readings, we encouraged any interested kids to come listen for a few minutes. Many kids did, and they all had smiles on their faces. Ah, the simple joys of being treated to a story read aloud.
We had over 100 people enjoy our WRAD read alouds, and almost all of the children and grownups opted to add their names to our reading wall afterward. I would call this program a definite success, especially when one considers that we didn't have any formal programs (story time, Lego Club) going on during the day to draw people to the library in the first place. Our participants were people who are happy to set aside what they are doing for a few minutes to enjoy reading. When all is said and done, the names on our reading wall show that we are a community who values literacy. I encouraged everyone to share the books they love with people they love, and they assured me they would read it forward.
In case you're curious, here's the breakdown of what books we read when:
9:30 a.m. - Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin
10:30 a.m. - It's a Tiger! by David LaRochelle
11:30 a.m. - Under Ground by Denise Fleming
12:30 p.m. - Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman
1:30 p.m. - Eggs 1 2 3: Who Will the Babies Be? by Janet Halfmann
2:30 p.m. - If I Built a House by Chris Van Dusen
3:30 p.m. - Miss Nelson is Missing by Henry Allard
4:30 p.m. - Eleanor, Quiet No More: The Life of Eleanor Roosevelt by Doreen Rappaport
5:30 p.m. - exerpts from A Pizza the Size of the Sun by Jack Prelutsky
6:30 p.m. - Let's Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy by Jan Thomas
7:30 p.m. - How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills
8:30 p.m. - exerpts from Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
Did you celebrate World Read Aloud Day? What did you do? How did you read it forward?