Saturday, February 11, 2012

World Read Aloud Day collaboration: #WRADCONNECT

Adapted and cross posted from Shannon Miller's blog, Van Meter Library Voice:

On March 7, 2012 we will celebrate World Read Aloud Day (WRAD) with the world. The theme this year says it all....

Change the World, Story by Story
LitWorld, whose mission is "to use the power of story to cultivate literacy skills in the world's most vulnerable children through education, advocacy and innovation" sponsors this world-wide celebration. 
Communities around the world will come together via participatory media (i.e.,  Skype, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) to share the power of words and stories on our lives. 

John and Shannon Minneapolis, MN 2011
Last year, Shannon Miller, Teacher Librarian and Technology Integrationist at Van Meter School in Iowa collaborated with John Schumacher, Teacher Librarian of  Brook Forrest Elementary School in Oak Brook, IL to celebrate World Read Aloud Day 2011
Shannon and Joyce Arlington, VA 2011
Eager to involve our New Canaan High School students in a similar collaboration, we connected with Shannon, Joyce Valenza, Teacher Librarian at Springfield Township School in Pennsylvania, and Rocco Staino, contributing editor for School Library Journal and chair of the Empire State Center for the Book
The Van Meter, Iowa crew
We selected student leaders from each school to collaborate and plan this year's WRAD activities. The Van Meter group includes Lizzy, Quinn, Collin, Paxton and Sebastian. Meg and Alisa, while not pictured are members of the Van Meter team.
The Springfield Township High School, PA crew
At Springfield Township High School, Somewhat Virtual Book Club (#SWVBC) members are taking the lead.

The New Canaan High School, CT crew
In New Canaan, Michael, Charlie, Molly, Alex, Isabelle, Franci and David are taking charge. Franci and David are missing from the picture, but we'll catch them soon.
Our student groups connected via Skype.  They brainstormed through two lunches, and by the second day, their ideas gelled into a concrete plan for World Read Aloud Day 2012.

Collaboration is awesome!
They decided to call the group #WRADCONNECT, 
and continued the conversation via Twitter. 
Connecting via Twitter

Molly and Michael creating Facebook group and page
Michael and Molly created a WRAD Connect Facebook Community Page and WRAD Connect Group on Facebook.

The Twitter hashtag #WRADCONNECT will connect all participating students, regardless of location or time zone. We already connected with Jessica, from the Boston area, thanks to our friend Jeremy Angoff. New Canaan students will interview Jessica on March 7th, as part of our World Read Aloud Day celebration.

Shannon created the Change the World, Story by Story wiki. It will serve as our organizational hub - a repository for resources and artifacts about our collaboration. 

We started collecting video clips for the project - recordings of people responding to the prompt, "Tell us about a story that changed your world." The following video is a compilation of four Van Meter students' responses.

"Tell us about a story that changed your world."

We invite everyone to contribute to the clip collection. Videos can be uploaded to the Facebook page, to Flickr via email, or anywhere else! Short and unrehearsed is preferable - people of all ages, clips in all languages are welcome! We created a form for contributors to fill out, so that we have an "inventory" of #WRADCONNECT contributions, regardless of where they are published. Here is the form.

The #WRADCONNECT schedule
Our students will collaborate to co-present WRAD activity on March 7. They are contacting authors and other students to interview between 11AM and 2PM, EST. They will also feature selected video submissions. The entire program will be broadcast live. We'll post a link as soon as we have one.
As we look ahead to the year, and all of the events that lay ahead, World Read Aloud Day is one that is sure to bring excitement, fun, and new friendships to our students and our school communities.  

We sure hope you will contribute to this celebration of World Read Aloud Day, and tune in on March 7th to #WRADCONNECT to witness and participate in this powerful collaborative effort to promote worldwide literacy!

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