“It takes a village to raise a child and it takes a child to inspire a village,” says Emma Mactaggart, from The Child Writes Fund, in explaining the importance of their campaign, International Read to Me Day which will be held on Friday 19th March. It is an international campaign which aims to encourage children to remind their grown-ups to read to them often and, of course, remind adults of the importance of reading. “It empowers and encourages children to participate in the conversation about their own literacy by reminding the adults around them about the importance of being read to, regularly,” explains their website.
Poster by Caroline Magerl
Their goals are; to “change the dynamic and empower children to ask for more support, not just from their birth family but also from their community. Marking a day when kids can ask to be read to is a key part of this strategy.” They aim to “promote, encourage and inspire reading activities within communities” and “showcase organisations who are passionate about improving the literacy standards of the children around them.
What’s more, they wish to “address the disparity between resources and where they are distributed, by supporting a book drive and sending the collected books to locations around the world to those who are looking for books!”
So, what are the benefits of participating in International Read to Me Day? The answer to that question is simple, reading makes a real difference in children’s lives. Professor Guyonne Kalb, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economics and Social Research, Australia explains that “No matter what else we tested for the results show that being read to remains an important factor that is not explained away by other factors such as the parents’ education. Children of 4 – 5 years old who are read to 3-4 times a week have reading ages 6 months ahead of children read to once or twice a week. Reading to children nearly every day almost doubles their progress to one year ahead of the group.”
The Child Writes Fund is inviting you to take part in this year’s International Read to Me Day by promising to read to a child, sharing an image on social media using #ReadToMeDay, and most importantly by telling “the children in your village to remind YOU that they are to be read to regularly.” You can find out more about the campaign and how to get involved on the International Read to Me Day website.