Stand Up for Girls with LitWorld and Take Action for Every Girl’s Right to a Quality Education on Oct. 11th, the International Day of the Girl

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

523 million girls and women worldwide cannot read or write. Let us stand together to champion the right of all girls to be Fierce, Fearless and Free.

LitWorld, an organization working towards achieving global literacy, has launched the Stand Up for Girls campaign to advocate for every girl’s right to a quality education. Our entire civilization is at stake when girls’ lives are fragile because they are prevented from accessing the right to read and write. All girls must be able to vote with their names, read their medicine bottles, farm their land, ride a subway and go to college. Stand Up for Girls speaks to these issues and gives us all a chance, young and old, to show our daughters and the sisters of our hearts that we have not forgotten, that we want the world to be safe, fair and full of hope for all of them.

Visit and pledge your commitment to take action and create positive change for women and girls worldwide, and to learn how to participate in LitWorld’s Photo Contest, plan your own Stand Up for Girls Event, become a Stand Up for Girls Champion, and more.

Your Top 3 Actions to Stand Up for Girls:

1. Take a picture of yourself with the Stand Up for Girls Sign and post it to Litworld’s Facebook wall for a chance to win tickets to their NYC Gala 2013!

2. Change the avatar on your social network profiles to showcase your Stand Up for Girls picture and use the Stand Up for Girls banner as your cover photo. Tell 10 people to Stand Up for Girls and use the hashtag #standup4girls to make your message heard!

3. Stand Up at noon on October 11, and use Litworld’s Activity Packet to make the first annual Day of the Girl a whole day of celebration! Don’t forget to share your actions here.


Poetry Friday: Still Three Days Left to Contribute to LitWorld’s Global Poem for Change

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Have you taken part in LitWorld’s second annual Global Poem for Change yet?  This year poet Sharon Creech set the poem off with this thought-provoking (indeed, poetry-inducing) couplet:

It has certainly inspired literally hundreds of people to respond. If you haven’t done so already, you can add your lines here, but hurry – you only have until the end of the month to join in. Teachers, this could be a wonderful way to blow away the Monday-morning blues!

If you’ve already contributred, then do go and take another look at the poem itself. It is growing by the hour, and it’s wonderful and fascinating to read all the different ways people have responded to Sharon’s initial call.

So whether you are a published poet, a closet poet or someone like me, who can only read and marvel over the original poems that are often a part of the Poetry Friday get-togethers, here’s your chance to join in with this unique chance to link your words for literacy across the globe. Why do that? Well, I leave the last word to Lit World:

Literacy rights are human rights. Each time we come together in acts of literary community, we stand in solidarity with all children worldwide who want to belong to the world of words.

This week’s Poetry Friday is hosted by Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference – head on over.

World Read Aloud Day ~ March 7th

Monday, March 5th, 2012

Press Release from

World Read Aloud Day: March 7, 2012
Take Action for Global Literacy, Celebrate the Power of Words, Change the World

Worldwide at least 793 million people remain illiterate.

Imagine a world where everyone can read…

World Read Aloud Day is about taking action to show the world that the right to read and write belongs to all people. World Read Aloud Day motivates children, teens, and adults worldwide to celebrate the power of words, especially those words that are shared from one person to another, and creates a community of readers advocating for every child’s right to a safe education and access to books and technology.

By raising our voices together on this day we show the world’s children that we support their future: that they have the right to read, to write, and to share their words to change the world.

It’s time to join the Global Literacy Movement.

Accomplished so far:
• Reached 35 countries and 40,000 participants on March 3, 2010
• Reached 60 countries and all 50 states and 200,000 participants on March 9, 2011
• Preparing for March 7, 2012: Let’s make it a million participants or more!

Register for World Read Aloud Day 2012 here and read the World Read Aloud Blog here. World Read Aloud Day’s activity page with free downloads and a picture book is here and info about spreading the word via social media with sample tweets etc. is here.

As you get ready to celebrate World Read Aloud Day 2012 check out the latest LitWorld video “What Would the World be Like if Everyone Could Read?”

Poetry Friday/Week-end Book Review: Water Sings Blue by Kate Coombs, illustrated by Meilo So

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

I’m posting my week-end book review a day early to clock in with Poetry Friday as a couple of days ago I received a review copy of Kate Coombs and Meilo So‘s new book Water Sings Blue, which Kate gave us a glimpse of back in January when her first copies arrived (and if you don’t know Kate’s blog, Book Aunt, it’s well worth a read).  It arrived just in time to squeeze it into our Water in Multicultural Children’s Books theme…

Poetry Friday this week is hosted by Dori at Dori Reads…

Kate Coombs, illustrated by Meilo So,
Water Sings Blue: Ocean Poems
Chronicle Books, 2012.

Ages 4-11

The finely tuned observation in both the poetry and illustrations of Water Sings Blue draws young readers into that world of the shoreline where time just seems to disappear and exploration offers up endless possibilities for discovery.  Kate Coombs’ poems are satisfyingly memorable, with their cohesive patterns of meter and rhyme that, nevertheless, contain plenty of surprises – like, for example, the alliteration and internal rhyming at the end of “Sand’s Story”, in which mighty rocks have turned to sand:

Now we grind and we grumble,
humbled and grave,
at the touch of our breaker
and maker, the wave.

… Not to mention the witty pun on “breaker”: and the gentle wit of Coomb’s verse also lights the imagination throughout this collection.

Turning the pages, readers encounter a vast array of sea characters, starting in the air with the seagull; then listening to “What the Waves Say” before diving down to meet the creatures of the deep: like the shy octopus author (think ink…), or the beautiful but self-absorbed fish whose tail and fins act as brushes, and who concludes his/her soliloquy with the wonderfully evocative: “I’m a water artist. / You wouldn’t understand.”  As well as creatures like sharks and jellyfish, there are poems about fascinating, less well-known fish – “Oarfish”, “Gulper Eel” and “Nudibranch”: they could become a follow-up project by themselves!  There’s also a deep-sea shipwreck, and back on the sea shore, a gnarled “Old Driftwood” telling stories “to all the attentive / astonished twigs”, and a property agent hermit crab with a salesman’s patter.

Bringing all the poems together in a visual feast are Meilo So’s gorgeous watercolors.  As well as her depiction of jewel-colored corals and waves in every shade of blue imaginable, her illustrations are clearly also influenced by direct observation of the shoreline around her Shetland Isle home, from fishermen’s cottages to diving gannets.

Just like in real beachcombing, young readers will lose track of time as they pore over So’s seashores for what they can find.

Water Sings Blue would be the perfect picture book to bring on a trip to the beach, wherever in the world that happened to be; and if young readers can’t wait for that, it will take them there immediately in their imaginations.

And just a reminder that the count-down to World Read Aloud Day on 7th March has more than begun.  LitWorld are aiming for 1,000,000 participants this year, so do register with them and tell all your friends about it too.  It’s a win-win-win situation – somebody gets to read, somebody gets to enjoy being read to, and everyone raises their voices together to support global literacy goals of every child’s right to education…  And if you’re spreading the word on Twitter, the hashtag is #readaloud – use it to link in to the ever-widening community of WRAD supporters, and connect with LitWorld at @litworldsays.

Stand Up for Girls: A Virtual Rally to Promote Literacy and Education for Girls

Monday, August 29th, 2011

LitWorld is a non-profit organization whose mission is “to use the power of story to cultivate literacy skills in the world’s most vulnerable children through advocacy, education and innovation”. On September 22nd, the International Day of the Girl, LitWorld invites everyone to partake in Stand Up for Girls: A Virtual Rally.

Two thirds of all the world’s illiterate people are women. On September 22, we will stand up for girls and their right to go to school and to learn to read and write. Let us join together to launch a campaign to advocate for a transformative new era in girls’ education.

Every girl has the right to a quality education that will ensure she has a lifelong way to protect herself, advocate for herself, learn what she wants to know and be who she wants to be. Every girl has the right to read and write words that will change her, and to write and tell stories to change the world.

Stand Up for Girls in 3 Easy Ways:

1) Spread the word about the event.

2) Stand Up. At noon your time on September 22, take ten seconds to physically stand up wherever you are (wear the Stand Up for Girls Badge!) to give recognition and awareness to the movement. Take a photo of yourself standing up for girls and post it on LitWorld’s Facebook wall.

3) March. Organize a Stand Up for Girls March or event in your classroom, workplace or neighborhood on September 22 to bring awareness to your community about the urgency of providing girls with a quality education.

By standing up for all girls everywhere, we invest in our future.

The Stand Up for Girls Rally is cosponsored by The Millennium Cities Initiative and Connect to Learn, projects of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and Millennium Cities and Villages across Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia Initiatives with Ashita no Kai and Arpana in India, and The Children of Kibera Foundation in Kenya.

LitWorld’s Global Poem – have you added your line yet?

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

There are still a few days left before the end of Poetry Month in the US, so if you haven’t already added your lines to LitWorld‘s Global Poem for Change, there’s still time.

Poet Naomi Shihab Nye wrote the beginning and sent the poem flying across the world:

I send my words out into the air, listening for yours from everywhere.

You can follow the poem here and add your own lines here. LitWorld needs your words to help their poem grow and remember, Your Words can Change Worlds – but hurry, the last lines must be sent in my the end of April.

Here are a few of my favorite lines so far:

Speak one word, one-thousand echoes

The sounds that echo through space and time; leave imprints that shape our growing minds

Words that stir, words that drive, words that connect us all, and make us strive.

Words will soar from near to far filling hearts and opening minds –

I can hear you ever so softly- like a single falling snowflake before the blizzard.

Starting with one little syllable… one little word… I offer my peace to the world…

Spoken in love and respect in an effort to change the world

How are you Celebrating World ReadAloud Day?

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Have you been totting up the minutes you’ve been reading aloud, in preparation for World ReadAloud day? You can add your times to the count over at LitWorld now – as well as tell them about any special events you’ve taken part in today. Were/are you at Times Square in New York for the 24-hour Readathon? And if you read the NY Daily News, look out tomorrow (Thursday 10th) for a”joyful piece” by LitWorld’s Poet Laureate Kwame Alexander…

For some background, read the post I wrote a couple of weeks ago. Lots of people multiplied by lots of minutes should make for a big total. Will we reach the 774 million target? It’s almost time to find out…

Countdown towards World Read Aloud Day!

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

What would your life be like if you couldn’t read or write? What signposts in the journey of your life would you have missed? Apart from the necessity of reading and writing, it’s hard to imagine what quality of life would be missed by not having books to read, whether for work or for pleasure.

So it is shocking to think that there are 774 million people in the world today who cannot read or write, and many of them are children.

Wednesday 9th March is our chance to come together in support of the World Literacy movement for World Read Aloud Day. is rallying the world to take part in its mammoth read-aloud-athon, aiming for 774 million minutes of children, or indeed adults, being read to. If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to start tallying how many minutes you are spending reading aloud and to how many people – whether at home, in school or at your local library – or on a bus or a train, or in the park – in fact, anywhere! Multiply the number of minutes by the number of people listening – then on March 9th you will be able to log your total on LitWorld’s website – and we will also post the direct link on the day.

For confirmation of the power of reading aloud, watch the video on LitWorld’s homepage – then go get a book and start reading to anyone and everyone you can. You can register here or sign up on Facebook. Follow events on LitWorld’s WRAD blog here or on Twitter, and join in via the Twitter hashtags #litworld and/or #literacy. Take a look at our Books at Bedtime and other reading aloud posts past and future for some great readaloud ideas – and we’d love to hear what you’re reading too, so do drop by and let us know! Now get reading – every minute really does count!

LitWorld’s Holiday Book Drive

Monday, December 13th, 2010

LitWorld, a New York-based organization that advocates for Global Literacy, is organizing a holiday book drive in connection with the International Book Bank to send books to children in Liberia and Sierra Leone, where one book is shared among 75 children, on average, and where some children have never seen, much less owned a book in their life.

Click here to find out where books can be dropped-off or sent to, as well as more information about LitWorld, The International Book Bank and the situation in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

We encourage you to support this worthwhile effort to give words wings. You can keep up with LitWorld’s news and book drive updates via Facebook and Twitter.