SDSL's Cornerstone Newsletter

South Dakota State Library's e-newsletter

February 2, 2023

The Power of the Read-Aloud

As librarians, we have many important jobs, but two of the most vital are to foster the love of reading and to help people find reading success. Luckily for us, there is one activity that effectively does both. The Commission on Reading states that "the single most important activity for building knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children."

In her book "The Artful Read-Aloud" Rebecca Bellingham asserts, "Children need rich and varied exposure to books and words and positive experiences with books and reading [through read-alouds] that set them on a course to become lifelong readers." Also luckily for us, reading aloud is part of our job!

Learning the principles of an effective read-aloud can transform your programming/teaching and the learning and engagement of the children you work with. When done well, read-alouds can help improve reading fluency and comprehension by exposing children to a variety of texts and literary styles. They can also increase vocabulary and background knowledge, as well as the ability to make connections between different texts.

Additionally, read-alouds can provide a shared experience for children, promoting a sense of community and encouraging discussions about the text. They can also be used to introduce new topics or themes and to provide children with a model for good reading habits. Overall, read-alouds can be a valuable tool for promoting literacy and fostering a love of reading among children.

If you are interested in learning more about the art of the read-aloud and in improving your own read-aloud skills, join us for our March book study. For this book study, you'll read and complete online journal entries/assignments for the book "The Artful Read-Aloud" by Rebecca Bellingham. At the end of the study, we'll come together online for meaningful discussion.

The book study will take place between March 1 – April 2. Participants can earn 15 CECHs from SDSL.

For more information and to register, visit the book study webpage.

"When I say that reading aloud will change the world, I know it sounds simple. But one of the many great things about giving kids access to the power of stories and sharing them together is that it is simple. It is also cheap and easily done. And the impact is huge."

- Pam Allyn, Literacy Expert and Author

About SDSL

The South Dakota State Library provides leadership for innovation and excellence in libraries and services to state government.

The SDSL does not endorse any service or product listed in this newsletter.