It’s Time to Say Goodbye to the Global Read Aloud

11 years ago I got into the passenger seat of our old car, turned on NPR and settled in for a drive.   I don’t know where we went, does it matter, but at the end of the drive after putting our baby to bed, I went to my blog and asked the world a question; does anyone want to do a global read aloud of some sort?  With me?

And the world said yes, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The Global Read Aloud started in June of 2010 with one small idea; a book to connect the world.  And connect it did, spanning nearly 90 countries, five continents, and millions of students connected.  We grew together, we worked together, and we read together.

It has been 11 years of incredible moments.  Of incredible books.  Of conversations and interactions that gave me so much hope.  Of authors who poured from their hearts so that we could learn about the world, either known or unknown.  Of educators who gave the book selected a chance, who reached out to strangers to collaborate, who listened to one another so that the project could be what they hoped it would be; valuable, worthy, meaningful.  Of kids who loved the books and told the world, who sometimes didn’t love the books and also told the world.  Of kids who connected.  Of kids who knew so well the story being read aloud, of kids who had never thought of the life described.

I am so grateful for all of these years together.

But all great things must come to an end and so now it is time to end the project.

So it is time for someone else to dream big, to find ways to connect others, to go for a drive and have an idea and invite the world in.

This year will be the last year of the Global Read Aloud, so make it worth it.

Thank you to all who have loved the project, who have been a part of the project, to the authors and illustrators who created the books, the publishing houses that supported, the educators who created, and the kids who experienced.

May you continue to find books to share with others, that bring the world in, that make the world smaller, that break down fears.

So enjoy this last year’s experience and be proud of what we accomplished when we read together.  Books can change the world, we proved it again and again the past 11 years.

Thank you for loving the Global Read Aloud as much as I have.  Thank you for believing in me.

PS: And before more people ask; can I just pass it on to someone else to do? No, I can’t and no, I won’t. Someone else can create a project but this one, this baby, that’s mine and it is mine to end in the way I want.

42 thoughts on “It’s Time to Say Goodbye to the Global Read Aloud

  1. Ellen Smith says:

    Thanks for all you have done these past 11 years! I have thoroughly enjoyed this experience with my students! The GRA was the first thing I did to connect my students outside our classroom and I still remember the wonderful teacher I connected with in Texas. Our classes actually stayed connected all year. A few years ago I made a connection with a teacher in NZ and we have stayed connected doing activities throughout the school year with our students.
    This has been an invaluable experience and I hope I have the opportunity to connect with you beyond the GRA. Thanks for all you have done!

  2. Heather says:

    Thank you so much for what you’ve done! For years, my classes have loved the books and the connections. Thank you!!

  3. Cindy says:

    As a librarian, I have delighted in involving teachers at many levels in the Global Read Aloud program. The class connections we have made and the teachers I have collaborated with have truly made the world smaller as we read the same stories.The life experiences that the books have reflected on have brought us new understanding. I am in awe of what you have taken on and developed into a platform that has touched so many lives. Thank you! Blessings for your new journey whatever it might be.

  4. Krystal says:

    Thank you so much for organizing the GRA for 11 years! I’m just sad that I only heard about it two years ago. I am definitely looking forward to this year! My students the past two years really enjoyed the primary read aloud books and the connections we made with other classes. The books sparked such great conversations in my 1st grade and kindergarten classrooms. I’m so glad I was able to be a part of it, even if only for a few years! Thank you again!

  5. Dee Kubic says:

    This is my 11th year of teaching, so I will sorely miss this amazing opportunity for my students! You have been an inspiration to me as I changed career paths. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much! What a great adventure that you embarked upon and shared it with so many teachers and students! So many great things have come from your idea to read and share a book globally. I wish you the best!

  7. Shelley Nanney says:

    I have really enjoyed doing this with my special needs kids. We have read the picture books aloud to them. Every year we have done it at least one of my students has asked their parent to purchase their favorite book from the books we read. This of course has thrilled the parent. It has also allowed my students to connect with kids outside of their small bubble. Thank you for this wonderful project!

    • Marie Ziller says:

      Thank you Pernille for creating this project and for all the hard work that went into each year! This is my favorite activity to do with my students and we will be very sad to see it end, but I totally understand. This has changed me as a teacher and I am very grateful for the experience ❤️

  8. Helen Digby (@diggers27) says:

    Wow, I’m reading this late at night and feel like an old friend just died!

    I absolutely respect your right to control your project and I thank you for your time, effort and commitment over the years … but it still seems sad that we will not be able to look forward to GRA after 2020!

    Although I knew about this project, I did not participate until 2018 … this year, with the lockdown and uncertain world around us, this project has given my students something to look forward to … we will definitely be “making the most of it”.

    Good luck with whatever projects you are brewing for the future.

    cheers from Down Under!

  9. Deborah says:

    Thank you so much for pulling the world together and opening our eyes on behalf of our students. Best of everything to you!

    • karenelizabethbonora says:

      Pernille, I respect your decision, and your journey. Thank you for creating this project that made our world a wee bit smaller by connecting us through a simple book. It has been an amazing ride! My blessings are with you as you venture onto other excitement in the world of reading.

  10. Sarah Murray says:

    I have an abundance of gratitude for your offering of the GRA for 11 years. I’m confident that someone will take up the torch as you started with a tiny fire and it’s grown into an inferno of transformational learning for both students and teachers! Your commitment to building empathy and compassion by asking readers to confront the other in fiction has been unwavering. I am deeply grateful for the sacrifices you have made in your personal life to offer us this program. I wish you peace and happiness with your family.


  11. Gayle Greenwald says:

    Thank you so much, Pernille! Your dedication and I cannot even imagine the numbers of collective hours, days, and years of hard work devoted to the GRA and us are so much appreciated. I hope we will all remain a community.

  12. Chris Osika says:

    Thank you so much for your effort over the years in providing this amazing opportunity for teachers and their classes! I know that it has formed International connections for me personally that I would not have made otherwise! I certainly will miss your leadership, but I understand your need for change. Good luck in future endeavors!

  13. ARMSTRONG, NATOSHA 1 says:

    Oh I’m sad. This has been so wonderful. Can we do anything to change your mind?

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  14. lrobinson4u says:

    I just want you to know how much your hard work and countless hours have helped the rest of us enlighten our students about others, not so different, yet very different, than themselves in our world. I was fortunate to help start a charter school 4 yrs. ago called Global Learning and through GRA you have helped us in achieving our purpose of staying globally connected. Our entire K-8 campus participated each year and looked forward to what books would be selected the following year as well as who we would be able to connect with in the world. Thank you for allowing us these wonderful, life changing experiences. I do hope someone will continue GRA and your vision! Maybe you could give us tips on how to find such great books.

  15. Kari says:

    Although I respect your decision, I think we need you now more than ever. Please pass the torch to someone to continue your great work. We have never needed the world to come together more. Thank you for your project.

  16. mrsbrownreadingblog says:

    I’ve loved the Global Read Aloud and so hope thatsomeone picks up the torch and continues it even if it’s under another name.

    Thank you for giving all of us the gift of this wonderful program I know it’s changed lives!

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  17. Sherry Logan says:

    Dear Ms. Ripp!   Thank you so much for your  vision and implementation of this awesome project!  I live in Washington DC and serve students in DC as a school librarian for the past five years and five years in Virginia. And, I support kids that are struggling readers so I animate books with engaging Read Alouds…  I want to continue your dream and continue to connect to kids globally as they need hope, laughter, and dreams more than ever.  I’m retiring in 2021 however I want to continue to share my passion of books with educators and children.   This is a big dream and ‘ask’ however, I believe in the power of timing and the power intentionally Now…   Can I continue with your project? Can you share the “how to do it” along with your best practices?  I would be more than willing to pay you for your time and consideration…  I really want to continue your dream as it fulfills my Dream!! You can contact me directly at:Mobile: 202 400 0811Email: I’m eagerly awaiting your reply!! Sincerely,Literary Logan

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

  18. Tara says:

    Thank you for your creativity and endless energy in making the Global Read Aloud an annual reading event we looked forward to. The discussions and connections, from NJ to Australia, were memories of a lifetime. It’s been a great journey!

  19. Mary Levi-Mehl says:

    I am so sad that I didn’t find the GRA until a feed years ago. It has been the highlight of my year the last few years. But I sure respect your decision!

  20. Dawn Fontana says:

    Thank you so much! This has been such an amazing journey! I’m so glad I got to ride along and grow along the way. Many blessings to you and yours!

  21. Jessica Lawson says:

    Thank you for literally transforming the way I thought about teaching and learning these past 7 years! Your trust in teachers to take what they need from and add what they can to the project has shifted my understanding of leadership. Your public reflections, questions, and struggles as a teacher and leader have expanded my understanding of reflective practice and leadership. AND, I have had so much fun with my students and other educators around the world along the way. I will grieve the GRA for a long time, but I am so thankful to you for starting it, and for knowing when to end it!

    • Gladys Lesmi Dallas says:

      Sad to read this post , specially now , this is such a difficult year for all ! But I am grateful for your work all these years !!!! For all we gave done together inspired by you !!
      Thanks !!

  22. Wendy @ Falconer's Library says:

    Thank you, Pernille, for all you have done and continue to do. Great respect for your decision to end it in our own time and on your own terms.

  23. Eleana Percevault says:

    The last three years participating in the GRA has been eye-opening and so enriching. For me, it spanned over three schools, three cities and many new colleagues. Having such an amazing community to work with and you at the helm really helped to anchor me and allowed an opportunity for me to dive in to get to know my schools very quickly. Thank-you so much for creating this project. Wishing you the best in your new adventures.

  24. Fiona Lamont says:

    Thank you so much for your energy, creativity and vision, Pernille. I’m in awe and appreciation of you and I have learned so much by being part of Global Read Aloud. I wish I had found it sooner. The books, authors and teachers sharing worldwide give me hope and happiness for our world. Best wishes.

  25. Stacie Greening says:

    Thank you for everything, Pernille! I have truly loved this project and it’s definitely the biggest global thing I’ve undertaken in my teaching career. You helped open my eyes and the eyes of my students these past few years. I wish you the best! ❤

  26. pollokoski says:

    GRA possibly has been/is/will forever be the single most powerful learning initiative having massive academic and affective impacts on a global level. And the best part, other than a few opportunity costs, it is free. Done well, Read-aloud can the most important part of education…just ask Neil Gaiman. Pernille, you must sleep really well at night…

  27. Kiley Ogodogu says:

    Thank you. It is because of this project I, and many many educators, took the time to read aloud and engaged in connections outside the walls of their classrooms. It is because of this project, that I can now call you my friend! Thank you so very, very much! ❤

  28. Rachel says:

    As a voice for all the children I have taught who have loved GRA – thank you for sharing this amazing initiative with the world. Many thanks from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

  29. Patti Donnelly says:

    Why is it ending?


    Patti Donnelly, M.Ed., N.B.C.T. – MC
    Middle School Language Arts
    Sixth Grade Teacher
    Durham Academy
    3116 Academy Road
    Durham, NC 27707
    919-489-9118 ext. 4340


  30. Kathleen Waldron says:

    Thank you so much for starting the Global Read aloud. My students have enjoyed it very much. I was able to read to them books that they could not read themselves because of their reading levels. They have made so many connections outside of the classroom. My students personally enjoyed sending and receiving postcards. They also learned about different heritages and customs thanks to you. You have touch so many children’s hearts and minds. Thank you Thank You

  31. lclarkpottervalleyschoolsus says:

    Thank you for this beautiful project.

    Laura A. Clark 5th Grade Teacher Potter Valley Elementary School

    On Sat, Jun 27, 2020 at 5:31 AM The Global Read Aloud wrote:

    > Pernille Ripp posted: “11 years ago I got into the passenger seat of our > old car, turned on NPR and settled in for a drive. I don’t know where we > went, does it matter, but at the end of the drive after putting our baby to > bed, I went to my blog and asked the world a question;” >

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