I have written on several occasions on what prompted the creation of the Global Read Aloud and yet the story never seems to get its due, to get its full potential told, much like a frustrated writer that can’t seem to get to the point. The Global Read Aloud started as a very simple idea; read a book aloud during 4 weeks and share your read aloud with others. I hadn’t thought it through, really, not the details anyway, but the idea seemed to beckon and to warrant action.
So I tweeted the idea, would this even work, and was amazed at the quick response I received from others. Please do it! Sign us up! When? The idea in its simplicity was what gave it strength. Yes, a book is chosen, in fact, we now do two books for different age groups, and yes, the timeline is set, but other than that, the project is in the hands of the participants. Those who read aloud choose how they connect. Those who discover the book create, discuss, and share those thoughts with whomever they choose; worldwide or just a single other classroom on the other side of the world. You don’t have to be a tech whiz to be a part of it, the community will help you with whatever you need. You do not have to pay other than for the book. You do not have to be of any klout or importance, you just have to want to share. The project is open to anyone; teachers, parents, librarians, whatever their title, as long as there are children that want to listen to a really good story, there are ways to participate.
So in this third year of this little idea, the project now boasts more than 7,000 kids already signed up and waiting for the October 1st countdown. The books have been chosen through discussion, voting, and ultimately deeper associations of kid relatability and themes to be explored. This year we proudly share “Charlotte’s Web” and “The One and Only Ivan”- a book which incidentally I had not heard of until I stumbled upon its name on this very blog. A book I read in an hour once it arrived and couldn’t believe how perfect it was for the project. A book that I am sure will become a classic much like the beloved other choice, Charlotte’s Web.
So on October 1st, join us as we share our read aloud. Join us as we make connections between words, cultures, and children. Join us in making the world a little bit smaller, one page read aloud at a time. Books are not meant to be read and forgotten. They are meant to be shared, passed on, and loved by many. Ultimately what started this project was not the need for recognition, but the need for connections. The need for children to realize that although a different language may be spoken and the sun may set at a different time, we are all able to love a book so much that we have to share it with others. We are all able to connect one book at a time, baring our souls in the process.
Pernille Ripp is a 5th grade teacher in Middleton, Wisconsin, proud techy geek, and honest to a fault. She is the creator of the Global Read Aloud and believer in all children. She has no awards or accolades except for the lightbulbs that go off in her students’ heads every day. Follow Pernille on Twitter @PernilleRipp and read her blog at www.pernilleripp.com