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.