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Hamden Hall Country Day School
Educating students in PreSchool through Grade 12

The Big Read: Students Celebrate World Read Aloud Day

The simple act of reading a book out loud can transport us into different worlds, inspire creativity, and spark a love of literature. In honor of World Read Aloud Day, Middle and Upper School students grabbed their picture books and found an audience with Lower Schoolers to share the joys of reading.

World Read Aloud Day was launched in 2010 by the non-profit organization LitWorld. Since its inception, the organization works to promote the power of reading aloud to create community and amplify new stories, and to advocate for global  literacy as a foundational human right.

“I want students to recognize the power of literacy and to be reminded of how books can connect people across age groups and generations,” said English and history teacher Olivia Hamaoui. “It’s also really rewarding for students to see themselves as mentor readers when they are working with younger students. It’s one of my favorite days of the year!” 

Mrs. Hamaoui and Middle School English teachers Allison Ehrenreich, Jose Martinez, and their students were welcomed into the PreSchool/PreKindergarten through Grade 2 classrooms as the excitement of special guest readers was evident. The Middle and Upper School group of students were split into smaller groups within each class for a more personal and fun reading session. The books, to name a few, included Ballroom Farm authored by Harvey Potter, The Magic Hat authored by Mem Fox, A Beach Tail authored by Karen Lynn Williams, and A Big Mooncake for a Little Star authored by Grace Lin.

Mrs. Hamaoui noted that the book selections were handpicked by the students with help from Lower School Librarian Pam Wilonski. Mrs. Wilonski curated a collection of children's picture books and the students chose a few to practice read before selecting the final ones. Each group read two books during their time together and were able to enjoy a few moments talking before leaving.

Mrs. Hamaoui proposed the World Read Aloud Day activity as she has been volunteering with LitWorld since college and she was also the former co-chair of the LitWorld Young Professionals Network, and have since served as a member of LitWorld's Advisory Council.  

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