Friday marked the official end date of the 2020 Global Read Aloud. The end of 11 years of reading aloud. The end of 11 years of connecting. Of discovering new books and old. Of finding more similarities than differences. Of making the world smaller. Of bringing us all together.
The day was quiet for me. The only moment of the project popping up was that night in conversation with my husband when I mentioned that today was the last day. He asked, how did I feel?
Thankful came to mind first. For all of you who committed even though it was yet one more thing to do in already very full year. Thankful for the love, the care, the ideas, the passion, the commitment, and the vision for my small project.
In awe also came to mind. That these books that I read at home made it around the world. That people flocked to the wonder of these creators. That people saw the worth and the value in reading books that may upset some and yet lead us to deeper connections and hopefully into action for a more just and humane society. We needed it. We still need it.
And yet there were other emotions as well. Relief that another year successfully happened without too many bruises, without too many disappointed emails or attacks on me for the political indoctrination I am supposedly orchestrating globally. A sense of satisfaction of being able to navigate all of the behind the scenes work again. Pride, of course, of this idea still being something others see value in. Proud of yet another year of connecting, of seeing the change these books have brought, but I was also sad. I wasn’t able to do the Global Read Aloud this year due to limited time while teaching virtually. I know many are in the same boat. Not being able to do it one more time makes it feel incomplete. Like there is still a chapter to be written. Like perhaps, when I have had a little space, we can try again.
So this isn’t to tease with anyone’s emotions or to get hopes up too high, but perhaps, we do it one more year? Perhaps, we read and search for books and if those books exist that would be worth reading aloud around the world, we go at it again. Perhaps this year doesn’t have to be a full goodbye but more like a goodbye tour, one last stop before the lights go down?
For now, the Facebook group will stay open. This website will too. The form to submit books will also be open, give me your ideas, please. I won’t do sign up, not yet, not until I know for certain that I want to do it again. And that means I need some time to think, to find my own feet again, to focus for a bit on my virtual classrooms, my kids, our dreams of finding teaching jobs in Denmark so we can go home.
So for now, this is just a see you later. A deep and heartfelt thank you to all of you who have participated, who have shared it, who have made it your own, who have brought others along, who have dreamed, and believed, and read, and reached out. Thank you for your love, your years, your voices, and your care.
Stay safe, stay healthy, stay home if you need to, and read some books.
All the love,