Thursday, February 23, 2012

World Read Aloud Day: An Interview With Dianne de Las Casas

SCBWI is teaming up with Lit World to help make World Read Aloud Day a transformative event!

Worldwide at least 793 million people remain illiterate.

As a global literacy movement,

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.

To find out more, I skype-IM interviewed Author, Storyteller, Founder of Picture Book Month and Proud SCBWI Member Dianne de Las Casas about World Read Aloud Day and how she's getting involved.

Lee: Hi Dianne! Thanks so much for agreeing to talk about World Read Aloud Day!

Dianne: It is my pleasure!

Lee: I love the mission of the project: "Imagine a world where everyone can read..." - is that what got you involved?

Dianne: Yes, I love LitWorld's message of global literacy. Plus, I write picture books, which are meant for the read-aloud.
Lee: So I saw on twitter that you've booked the day with skype visits. Tell us about that.

Dianne: As founder of Picture Book Month, participating in World Read Aloud Day was such a natural fit. I love their mission of a global literacy movement. Kate Messner, an amazing author, who is the Skype Author Visit Queen, organized a page on her site that lists authors willing to Skype with schools on World Read Aloud Day. I wanted to be involved so I placed myself on the list.

Lee: And then schools contacted you?

Dianne: Yes, the schools contacted me. I have five schools booked in the US and Canada for half-hour Skype Author Visits. It's going to be a very busy day. LOL

Lee: Wow! And what will a skype visit include - I'm guessing you reading one of your books out loud?

Dianne: I will definitely storytell/read one of my books and do a Q&A session with the students who range from Kindergarten to 6th grade. I am going to highlight Dinosaur Mardi Gras

and Blue Frog: The Legend of Chocolate.

In addition, the schools can access my online, free downloadable activities that accompany all of my books.

Lee: Very Cool! Would you recommend getting involved in World Read Aloud Day to other SCBWI members?

Dianne: Yes! Do it for the cause. But it's also a great way to get good book publicity.

Lee: I'm glad you brought that up - everyone's volunteering their time and expertise, but it's building your readers and platform and yeah, helping contribute to a wonderful cause - a world where everyone can read.

Dianne: Laissez les bon temps rouler! Let the good times roll!

And she even ties it up with a Mardi Gras sign-off! Thanks, Dianne!

Additional information on World Read Aloud Day can be found here.  You can also check out the the suggestions in the Read Aloud Day Activity Kit (PDF) or come up with your own creative ideas to get kids reading!

And share your experiences on March 7th with SCBWI - email your photos and stories to

chelseamooser (at) 

Highlights will be complied into an article for the scbwi website and publication in the May/June Bulletin.

Illustrate On, Write On, and Read Aloud!

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