World Read Aloud Day - World Read Aloud Day is a global celebration of the power of words to change the world. It is an opportunity for people of all ages, backgrounds, and cultures to come together and share stories, poems, and other written works with each other. Through reading aloud, we can raise awareness of the importance of literacy, encourage a passion for reading, and share our stories with the world.

World Read Aloud Day 2025 – February 5, 2025

Celebrated annually on the first Wednesday of February, World Read Aloud Day is dedicated to the art and practice of reading aloud. This year it takes place on February 1. Oral storytelling has long been a method for preserving knowledge, insight, and creativity, and on World Read Aloud Day, people from all over the world are invited to come together and share stories from books, poems, articles, and more.

History of World Read Aloud Day

LitWorld is a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive impact through education and literacy. Their mission statement is to "empower kids and communities by using the power of stories". Reading aloud has been proven to be beneficial for both children and caregivers, as it helps improve spelling and pronunciation, as well as promote empathy and social bonding. This is the goal of World Read Aloud Day, which was first launched in 2010 by LitWorld in an effort to promote diverse voices and stories from around the world.

World Read Aloud Day timeline

3400 B.C. — 3100 B.C.
Writing is Invented

The Sumerians, an ancient civilization, are acknowledged as the inventors of writing.

868 A.D.
The First Printed Book

The Chinese version of the "Diamond Sutra" is considered the world's first modern printed book.

The First Audiobook is Launched

The American Foundation of the Blind began producing audiobooks for individuals with visual impairments.

The First World Read Aloud Day

This worldwide initiative is initiated by LitWorld.

World Read Aloud Day FAQs

Can I read aloud to myself?

The purpose of National Read Across America Day is to encourage reading to and with children and adults, but it can also be used as a chance to improve one's own storytelling abilities.

Where can I find resources for the day?

Many resources, such as reading lists and podcasts, can be found on websites like LitWorld and Scholastic for National Read Across America Day, including activity hubs and challenges with materials to participate in World Read Aloud Day.

How is literacy measured?

Assessing literacy globally is complex due to the diverse meanings of literacy and the various methods employed. For instance, some studies rely on self-reported literacy levels instead of more accurate literacy assessments, making it difficult to compare data between countries.

How to Observe World Read Aloud Day

  1. Read aloud

    National Read Across America Day is a perfect chance to choose a favorite book with your child and alternate reading it. Giving voice to the story's characters can make the experience more engaging. If you already do this, you can try something different by retelling stories you've heard from your parents and grandparents.

  2. Tweet the hashtag

    #WorldReadAloudDay trended on Twitter in February 2020, with participation from children, families, schools, and even celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Chelsea Clinton using the hashtag to support literacy. It is a great opportunity to join and raise awareness for this significant movement.

  3. Listen to an audiobook

    If you're someone who likes reading but lacks the time, an audiobook can be a great substitute. The enthusiasm you have for the story can also motivate you to tell it to others. Additionally, gifting an audiobook or a subscription to a child or a friend is a great way to foster a love for books.

5 Facts About World Read Aloud Day

  1. The day is global

    Each year, 173 countries take part in this day-long event, with people of all ages reading aloud to each other and sharing stories from a variety of genres

  2. Inequality in literacy rates

    In Sub-Saharan Africa, literacy rates are the lowest on the planet, with South Asia coming in second. Sub-Saharan Africa has experienced a lack of educational opportunities, resulting in historically low levels of literacy. South Asia also lags behind in overall literacy rates, with a significant portion of the population unable to read or write. Both regions face ongoing challenges to improving literacy, with literacy initiatives and campaigns working to increase access to education and resources to improve literacy.

  3. Literacy levels keep rising

    Over the past 70 years, the global literacy rate has increased significantly, growing by 5% every 10 years since 1950. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has reported this remarkable progress. The literacy rate refers to the percentage of people in a given population who can read and write. As it goes up, more people are able to access education and knowledge, which can have a positive impact on the economy and society as a whole.

  4. Children’s books were religious

    John Cotton, an influential Puritan minister, wrote the book “Spiritual Milk for Boston Babes” in 1656. This catechism was the first book in the United States specifically aimed at children. It was intended to provide spiritual guidance to youngsters in the Puritan settlement in Boston, Massachusetts. The catechism was a simple yet effective way to teach the fundamentals of the Puritan faith to children and to help them better understand their beliefs. The book provided a comprehensive overview of the faith, including an explanation of the Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, and the Apostle's Creed. It also discussed the importance of repentance, faith, and obedience. As such, “Spiritual Milk for Boston Babes” was an integral part of the religious education of children in Puritan America.

  5. Audible was the first digital audiobook player

    In 1997, Audible, an independent company at the time, enabled its members to access and download up to two hours of audio content, comprising mainly of books. This was a revolutionary step, as it enabled people to listen to books on the go, without having to carry a physical copy.

Why World Read Aloud Day is Important

  1. It makes kids better people

    Studies have shown that reading fiction can enhance compassion in both children and adults by exposing them to perspectives different from their own, and diversity in worldviews. It also provides an opportunity for improved self-esteem when reading books that mirror one's culture and experiences.

  2. It’s a bonding exercise

    Storytelling is a widely accepted method of building connections with children, and National Read Across America Day is a great opportunity to create these connections, not only by reading aloud to your own children, but also to those in your community.

  3. It’s a great cause

    Literacy rates vary greatly among countries and genders worldwide. To improve access to and quality of education in disadvantaged communities, much work remains to be done. National Read Across America Day helps raise awareness for this crucial issue.

World Read Aloud Day dates

Year Date Day
2022 February 2 Wednesday
2023 February 1 Wednesday
2024 February 7 Wednesday
2025 February 5 Wednesday
2026 February 4 Wednesday