Caption: A glimpse of the read-along story, Bedtime Bonnet, read by the author, Nancy Redd, on YouTube channel Brightly Storytime. Words are highlighted (here in purple) and they are read.
Tomorrow, September 8, people around the world will celebrate International Literacy Day. “Literacy” means “the ability to read and write.” You know that you have to learn to read and write at school, but did you ever think of it this way? Literacy is an essential human right, and it would be hard to imagine life without it.
Can you imagine being older and not knowing lots of things that other people do know? What if you couldn’t express yourself, or find information that you need? How would you learn a trade, or know what you’re buying? What if you message your friends on the phone, but they can’t understand what you’re trying to say? Reading and writing helps us to work together, and communicate even with people that we never meet.
The best way to get used to reading, is simply to have fun while reading, and while learning to read. In fact, reading a book can be just as fun as watching a movie! For young readers like you, there is also an extra fun way to read: read-alongs! That’s when someone else is reading a story, and you look at the text, as they go along. Ask an adult to join you – you’ll need a phone, tablet, or computer/TV screen.
There are quite a few channels on YouTube that offer read-alongs. Our favourite, especially if you are watching from a smaller screen like a smartphone, is Brightly Storytime. The reader scrolls through pages of a book, so that you see the animated pictures – and the words are highlighted as they are read. This makes it easy to read along. Some books are even read by the authors.
There are several other channels that host read-alongs, but since the text might be a little hard to read on a small screen, it’s best to watch them on a big computer- or TV-screen. These include the YouTube channels Read Right Now, Kids Stories 4 You, Mrs. K's Book Worm Adventures, and The StoryTime Family.
If you have a library card:
Subscriptions to Philipsburg Jubilee Library come with access to apps that give access to lots of e-books, including read-alongs. Some of the fun read-alongs that we saw on the Libby app include This is Black Panther, The girl who dared, Anansi and the tug of war, and Anna and Elsa’s childhood times (from Disney’s Frozen). There are also many stories about cool animals from National Geographic Kids!
Very young children can also listen to stories, with Virtual Story Time on the Philipsburg Jubilee Library’s Facebook page.