World Read Aloud Day - February 16th

Stand up for the millions who face systemic barriers to literacy

Stand up for the millions who face systemic barriers to literacy

We believe that literacy is not a gift given just to some lucky ones, it is a foundational human right that brings joy, independence, gender equity and a pathway out of poverty. Everyone should have it.

This is the idea that fueled the creation of World Read Aloud Day in 2010. WRAD has since become a global, grassroots movement for change, and on February 16, 2017 millions of us will take action once again to show that the right to literacy belongs to all people. The read aloud serves as the perfect symbol for universal literacy--not only is it a useful tool for an individual to improve language skills and foster a love of reading, but it is also a tangible way to create accessible and sustainable reading communities. The read aloud invites everyone at any point in their literacy learning to embrace their identity as readers.

Research backs up the power of the read aloud, especially for children. According to the Melbourne Institute, reading aloud to children every day puts them almost a year ahead of children who do not receive daily read alouds--regardless of parental income, education level or cultural background. While many of us may hold fond memories of the stories that nurtured a love for books, like listening to a parent or teacher read and re-read our favorites for the hundredth time, there are children in this country and around the world who have been denied this joy. Every child deserves to experience the innumerable benefits of the read aloud: from the early language development and improved memory to the sense of wonder and life lessons that books can give us. 

Stand up for the millions who face systemic barriers to literacy

Kids of all ages are also yearning for the human connection that comes with reading aloud. In the most recent Kids and Family Reading Report from Scholastic, 40% of kids aged 6-11 did not want to stop being read aloud to. 8 in 10 kids said they loved the read aloud, and many of them cited it most importantly as a special time with their parents. Before we even learn how to read, the read aloud ushers us into our own journey with literacy. This journey is so important because literacy is the foundation for emotional and physical well-being, intellectual growth, and economic security. We use it to communicate with each other, gain knowledge, and navigate our world and identity. 

Join the World Read Aloud Day movement by registering on You can also find resources for your home, classroom or office on our website by downloading our official 2017 Activity Packet (available in English and Spanish) for book recommendations and different ways to engage on the day. Join our 7 Strengths Countdown on social media! Authors and classrooms can schedule virtual read alouds via Skype in the Classroom or Kate Messner’s blog. 

You can stand up for the millions who face systemic barriers to literacy by celebrating the read aloud as a social equalizer and source of joy for children everywhere. Commit to reading aloud on February 16, 2017 and join together to make this World Read Aloud Day the biggest one yet!

Find out more about LitWorld's World Read Aloud Day at

21 Feb 2017 - 11:39

Related articles

Learning to read in a secondary language can be a disorienting experience

International Mother Tongue Language Day

This blog was written by Tanyella Evans, Co-Founder and CEO of Project Literacy Partner Library For All to celebrate International Mother Tongue Language Day – February 21, 2017. Today is International Mother Tongue Language Day. Take a m...

Image credit: UNHCR / Tanya Habjouqa

Worldreader Expands Its ‘Read To Kids’ Program

Children are the most vulnerable victims of the Syrian Refugee crisis. And while host countries like Jordan are taking generous measures to improve access to education for these children, many are at risk of being left behind. Every child should...

National Literacy Trust provides tips to parents to develop children's reading skills

How To Encourage Kids To Read & Write Every Day

Helping a child to develop their reading skills and love literacy is a real challenge, but it’s also one of the biggest and most rewarding responsibilities of parents. Reading opens a child’s eyes to the world around them, opens their imagination to ...