Thursday, March 6, 2014

How did you celebrate World Read Aloud Day 2014?

March 5 was World Read Aloud Day, a day for promoting the joys of literacy for everyone worldwide. As part of our festivities at my library, we hosted a special program: Read with a Police Officer.

The premise of the program was to have a recognizable community figure come to the library to read a story aloud, talk about why they love to reading and why reading is important to them, and then answer kids' questions.

Officer Ochs of the Lake St. Louis Police Department came to my branch completely ready to read--what else--Officer Buckle and Gloria. Officer Ochs is the police officer in our town who visits lots of schools and daycares, so she's well versed in dealing with kids. She even has her own copy of Officer Buckle and Gloria, as it's one of her favorite stories to share with kids.

After she read Officer Buckle and Gloria to the kiddos in attendance--both preschool- and school-age--Officer Ochs talked about how she needs to read to be able to do her job, and that she enjoys reading stories for fun, too. Then she asked the children what they want to be when they grow up. As the kids responded (president! ninja! firefighter! musician! librarian!), she reinforced how important literacy is by mentioning that each and every one of these jobs will include reading.

Officer Ochs's portion of the program wrapped up with a Q&A, with the kids asking her questions about her job. They asked some great questions: what's on her utility belt, and why is it included? what are the patches on her uniform for? how many bad guys has she stopped? The kids were absolutely riveted as they listened to the answers from a real, live police officer.

I finished up the program by tying everything back to World Read Aloud Day and how much fun it is to share stories out loud. From there, the kids could add their favorite read-alouds to our celebration poster. I had die-cut books in a variety of colors, as well as lots of markers, for kids to write down their favorite stories before taping them to the poster. That poster is now hanging from the reference desk at my library, in clear line of sight of almost everyone who visits the library. Others can add their own favorite read-alouds to the poster, too.

That's how we celebrated World Read Aloud Day at my branch library this year: with a community helper reinforcing the importance and joy of literacy right alongside me, the librarian. Kids had fun, shared stories, and then checked out books to read at home. All in a good day's work!

How did you and your library celebrate World Read Aloud Day?


  1. The whole staff pitched in for this:

  2. Thanks for letting me know about WRAD. I shamelessly borrowed your idea and hosted a Read with a Community Helper Story Time. We had officers from the police dept., sheriff's office and fire dept. read stories. One of the officers shared "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" and told the audience that it's the first book she remembers her mom reading to her and when she herself learned to read she read it aloud to her sister.


  3. We put up a WRAD display and I made a sign that said "You're never to YOUNG or too OLD to be read aloud to!" I also recalled the story of the NYC newspaper delivery drivers strike in 1945 when Mayor LaGuardia read (with great description and expressiveness) the Sunday funnies over the radio for the kids. I found a photo online and wrote a short summary to display. I also displayed the latest Sunday "Zits" cartoon featuring Jeremy reminiscing with his mom about his old picture books, winding up on his mom's lap and saying, "Start from the beginning".

    Amy, Deerfield Public Library, IL