Friday, February 17, 2017

Celebrating World Read Aloud Day across Berkeley with #WRAD17

We had a terrific time celebrating World Read Aloud Day (#WRAD17) across Berkeley Unified School District. Our kids were inspired; our guests shared their passion for stories; our smiles and laughter lit up every room. In Berkeley, it is indeed the Year of the Reader!
This year's event was particularly inspired by Anna Dewdney, the author of the wonderful Llama Llama picture books. Dewdney was a strong supporter for reading aloud, writing in a Wall Street Journal commentary: “Reading with children makes an intimate, human connection that teaches that child what it means to be alive as one of many beings on the planet.” Dewdney died last year at age 50 after a battle with brain cancer.
“When we read a book with children, then children — no matter how stressed, no matter how challenged — are drawn out of themselves to bond with other human beings, and to see and feel the experiences of others. I believe that it is this moment that makes us human. In this sense, reading makes us human.” -- Anna Dewdney
Our preschools celebrated with guest readers from the community reading Llama Llama Red Pajama in every classroom. As part of its commitment to honoring Dewdney's legacy, Penguin Young Readers donated books to every preschool classroom in Berkeley Unified. We are so appreciative. Find out more about the Anna Dewdney Read Together Award, another way that Penguin is teaming with national organizations to honor Dewdney's legacy.
Superintendent Donald Evans with preschoolers
Our elementary schools celebrated with visits from three of their favorite authors: Annie Barrows, Laura Shovan and Kelly Barnhill.  Wow-oh-wow, our students were excited to talk with writers about their work. Students asked thoughtful questions about how these authors get their ideas, they heard about how revision is hard work (even for professional authors!), they were inspired to read more books and try writing their own.
celebrating #WRAD17 across Berkeley schools
Annie Barrows, the author of the Ivy & Bean series, visited Cragmont School. Laura Shovan, whose novel in verse The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary was one of our Mock Newbery favorites, joined classes at Thousand Oaks and Emerson for video chats. And Newbery Medalist Kelly Barnhill had a terrific video chat with students at Rosa Parks. Have fun watching kids from across Berkeley celebrating World Read Aloud Day:
World Read Aloud Day "calls global attention to the importance of reading aloud and sharing stories." Founded by Pam Allyn and LitWorld, World Read Aloud Day motivates communities across the world to celebrate the power of words and stories, helping people take action to show the world that the right to literacy belongs to all people.

Many thanks to our outstanding leadership from Becca Todd, coordinator of BUSD Library Services, and to the inspiration and support from Lit. World and Penguin Young Readers.

©2017 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

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