Thursday, 19 September 2019

September 23, 2019 is Read a Poem to a Child Day.

Happy Poetry Friday everyone! Thanks to the fabulous Linda Baie at Teacher Dance for hosting this week’s Poetry Friday link-up. (Look for a cameo from Linda a bit later in this post!)

This Friday and next, I am celebrating Read a Poem to a Child Day. I wrote about this annual initiative a few weeks ago. You can read that post here.

I am asking educators, authors, and friends  to record a video of themselves reading a poem for children, to be shared on social media. The collection of those videos will be right here at my blog.

Thanks to Poetry Friday friends Carol Varsalona and Linda Baie for making and sending videos to share!

I recorded two video poems: “I Know This One” from The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary, and “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll.

Here are links to all of the videos so far. I encourage you to watch them and share with your students, children, grand-kids, and young mentees.

Linda Baie reading “Write about a Radish” from Karla Kuskin’s book Near the Window Tree: Poems and Notes.

B. J. Lee reading an original poem, “Dealin’ with a Feelin’.”

Laura Shovan reading “I Know This One,” from The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary.

Laura Shovan reading “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll. This poem is from Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There.

Carol Varsalona reading of Robert Louis Stevenson’s “The Swing,” from A Child’s Garden of Verses.

There’s still time to participate. And if video isn’t for you, I hope you find time to read a poem to a child in your life, or volunteer to read to kids at a library or school.

Here are the details from 100 Thousand Poets for Change and their partner organization, Reading Is Fundamental:

“Dear Poets and Poetry Lovers, Will you read a poem to a child on September 23-28 as part of the 100 Thousand Poets for Change Global initiative ‘Read A Poem To A Child?’ This is an especially an important year to highlight the significance of children in the world. We are increasingly aware of their fragility. It is time to take a moment in this busy, crazy life we live, and share something we cherish. Poetry is our gift. Last year we had over 2,000 individuals and organizations sign on to participate. Michael Rothenberg, co-founder of Read A Poem To A Child hopes to increase that participation.

“Click for a free downloadable pdf of poetry for children. And for classroom curriculum ideas you can contact Michael Rothenberg, co-founder of the Read A Poem To A Child initiative, at This important poetry literacy program was developed in conjunction with 100 Thousand Poets for Change and Florida State University Libraries Special Collections.”

9 responses to “Read a Poem to a Child on September 23”

  1. Linda Baie says:

    Fun to see your own videos, Laura, then Carol’s, too. I saw ‘The Swing’ on FB. Hope these will be fun for children. For some reason mine & Carol’s came out very large! I don’t know how to fix it, perhaps FB does it that way? Thanks!

    • Linda, I enjoyed listening to your read aloud and thought the ending touch with a real radish was clever. Thanks, Laura, for bringing the project to life. It was fun reading the poem to my granddaughter via Google Hangout. I look forward to more read alouds with her.

  2. Irene Latham says:

    How much do I love that you recorded Jabberwocky??! I have quite a lot of poems for children on my youtube channel.
    Also… I adore that robot peeking in from the right! xo

  3. Linda Bai’s video didn’t work, but I enjoyed the others. They are a bit much for my twenty seven month granddaughter who I am looking after today. We did enjoy (only about a hundred times) a video of Burl Ives singing There’s a Little White Duck. That’s a poem right?

  4. Linda says:

    I love these! I especially enjoyed hearing you read “Jabberwocky.” I’m going to share the videos with my grandchildren!

  5. I enjoyed listening to your read alouds of the poems you chose, Laura. Great job with Jabberwocky, a tongue twister wonder.

  6. Loved all the readings here Laura, especially liked your reading of the “Jabberwocky” as it’s a favorite of mine. I’d enjoy illustrating it sometime… What a fresh and new masthead you have it’s lovely, and thanks for spreading more poetry around!
    BTW that doggie at the bottom is adorable, and-isn’t that one of your robot doodles…

  7. Mary Lee says:

    I’ll give this a whirl tomorrow! Not a stretch to read a poem to kids, but to get the video done…we’ll see!

    Thanks for sharing this important initiative!

  8. Hi Laura, Thanks for collecting these. I enjoyed watching them, especially your poem “I Know This One!” 🙂
    I just posted my video to YouTube:
    I also uploaded it to Facebook, if that’s easier.
    Thanks so much for telling us about the initiative!

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Laura Shovan

Laura Shovan is the author of the award-winning middle grade novel, The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary. Her second book, Takedown, is a Junior Library Guild and PJ Our Way selection. Look for A Place at the Table, co-written with Saadia Faruqi, in 2020. Laura is a poet-in-the-schools Maryland.

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