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.
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?