Author Kate Messner Helps Educators Celebrate World Read Aloud Day with Virtual Author Visits

Once again, Messner is connecting kid lit creators and educators for World Read Aloud Day in February.

Montage of Getty Images: Woman reading illustration by Maria Petrishina

February 7 is World Read Aloud Day (WRAD). The annual event, created by LitWorld in 2010, was founded “to celebrate the power of reading aloud to create community and amplify new stories, and to advocate for literacy as a foundational human right.”

For those planning programming for WRAD, author Kate Messner is here to help. Each year, Messner pulls together a list of authors and illustrators willing to volunteer to do virtual read-alouds. The kid lit creators hail from around the world, and Messner has shared a spreadsheet with their names, publishers, contact information, and times they are available.

The presentations are not “fancy.” In her blog post about the day and visits (that includes access to the spreadsheet), Messner describes the typical WRAD visit:

1–2 minutes: Author introduces themselves and talks a little about their books.

3–5 minutes: Author reads aloud a short picture book or a short excerpt from a chapter book/novel.

5–10 minutes: Author answers a few questions from students about reading/writing.

1–2 minutes: Author booktalks a couple of books they love (but didn’t write!) as recommendations.

Teachers or librarians interested in a Zoom visit for WRAD can go to the spreadsheet and contact the author or ­illustrator directly. When volunteers schedules are full, they will be removed from the list. When reaching out to organize a visit, include the f­ollowing ­information:

Your name and what grade(s) you work with.

Your city and time zone (this is ­important for scheduling).

Possible times to connect on February 7. Please note authors’ ­availability and time zones. Adjust accordingly if yours is different.

Your preferred platform (Zoom, Google Meet, etc.).

A phone number where you can be reached on that day in case of ­technical issues.

For more WRAD resources and activities, visit

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Kara Yorio

Kara Yorio (, @karayorio) is senior news editor at School Library Journal.

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