Experts estimate that nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their name. In the U.S alone, 40 percent of 4th graders do not achieve basic levels of reading proficiency. The number is higher among low-income families, certain minority groups, and English language learners. The tragedy is that these children may never fully participate in American society.

These are powerful statements, the shear enormity of the problem overwhelming . . . because after all what can you or I do about a problem as big as world literacy, right?

What if every child in the world could read and write?

Here’s the wonderful, almost magical thing about an individual choosing to go on a mission to make a difference . . . you don’t need to be rich or powerful, you simply need to decide and take action. Simple interactions can have a powerful rippling effect once that first step has been taken.

Each of us has an opportunity to take that first step by participating in this year’s World Read Aloud Day and showing 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.

World Read Aloud Day: March 7, 2012

World Read Aloud Day (WRAD) is sponsored by LitWorld (, a 501C3 nonprofit organization advocating global literacy, and is about taking action to show the world that the right to read and write belongs to all people. WRAD motivates children, teens, and adults worldwide to celebrate the power of words, and shows 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.

How to Change the World One Book at a Time . . .

* Nurture the love of reading with your children
* Visit a hospice or retirement home and read to seniors
* Organize a local drive to collect books for shelters for the homeless and abused women and children
* Learn more about organizations with outreach programs, such as First Book and Reading Is Fundamental. Both organizations feature outreach programs, provide training and resources.
* Support your local library(s) (The local public library is a primary source of books for thousands of children. Unfortunately, due to shrinking budgets and rising book costs, many of these libraries possess only limited collections of books, and what volumes they do own are often falling apart from being 'loved to death’ or are out-of-date.

The only barrier between you and your desire to create meaningful change is a small veil of anxiety...which can be easily torn away by the passion within your heart. Each time someone is helped, the hope is passed on.

Author's Bio: 

Marquita (Marty) Herald, is a writer, entrepreneur, life coach, world traveler, avid reader, lover of dogs and the blogger at IGG - Tips, Tools & Tantalizing Ideas. IGG is about Personal Growth and the Art of Inspired Living and the Mission is to challenge readers to recognize that it really is up to each of us to choose to accept "as is" or improve our world ...