If you love to read, here’s a way you can support global learning without leaving the comfort of your armchair. An Australian collective of educators and authors established International Read to Me Day (IRTMD) in 2015 to be celebrated on March 19 each year. The goal of this commemorative day is to draw attention to the startling statistic from UNESCO that more than one-half of children and adolescents worldwide are not achieving reading and math proficiency levels in their age levels. This is equivalent to three times the population of Brazil being unable to read or undertake basic mathematics.
That’s a scary global snapshot.
But there is good news. According to Professor Guyonne Kalb at the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economics and Social Research, four- to five-year-old children who are read to three to four times a week are six months ahead of those who are read to only once or twice a week.
Reading to children should be as normal as feeding them.Emma Mactaggart, award-winning children’s book author and founder of International Read To Me Day.
The IRTMD community relaunched its initiative today to become an ongoing global event throughout the year. It now supports a program through which adults can read to a child for ten minutes anywhere in the world through Facebook Live. The organization also collects books through various non-profits to donate in underserved communities, offers a list of clean reads for children, and organizes local reading events.
To help improve global literacy, you can:
- Learn more on the IRTMD website.
- Like, follow, and share the IRTMD Facebook page.
- Register as a reader!
- Read to a child you know today and post a photo of your time together on your social media platform with the hashtag: #internationalreadtomeday.
- Donate to the Child Writes Fund, which is the largest supporter of IRTMD.
Wouldn’t it be fun to read to a child in another land?