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Pam Allyn
Pam Allyn is widely known as a motivational speaker advocating for reading and writing as human rights that belong to all people. Her personal quest to bring literacy to every child stems from a deeper desire to bring dignity to every child, and to empower children to read and write powerfully, effectively and with passion in ways that will change their worlds and the worlds of others. Her work has been featured on Good Morning America, The Today Show, Oprah Radio, The Huffington Post and in The New York Times.

Pam is the Executive Director and founder of LitWorld, a 501(c)3 non-profit literacy organization fostering resilience, hope, and joy through the power of story, and LitLife, a national organization dedicated to school improvement. She is the author of the acclaimed and award-winning "What To Read When: The Books and Stories To Read With Your Child-And All The Best Times To Read Them" (Penguin Avery) and the Complete Year Series (Scholastic), among other titles. Her most recent books are "Pam Allyn's Best Books for Boys: How To Engage Boys in Reading in Ways That Will Change Their Lives" (Scholastic), "Your Child’s Writing Life" (Penguin Avery), and "Be Core Ready: Powerful, Effective Steps to Implementing and Achieving the Common Core State Standards" (Pearson).

Pam is the Global Ambassador for Scholastic's Read Every Day, Lead a Better Life Campaign, she is on the English Language Arts Scope and Sequence Advisory Group for the New York City Department of Education, and the Advisory Boards of the Dream Charter School in Harlem, the Amherst College Center for Community Engagement, James Patterson’s ReadKiddoRead, Penguin Publishing’s We Give Books and the Millennium Cities Initiative Social Sector.

More information on Pam’s work is available at,, and

Entries by Pam Allyn

Read Aloud. Change the World.

(6) Comments | Posted March 3, 2014 | 4:35 PM

Many years ago, my mother read to me from the book Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey. I remember as if it were yesterday, hearing her voice at my side on a cold wintry night sharing those words: "Kerplink, kerplank, kerplunk..." as little Sal's blueberries thunked into her pail. My...

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Let's Make 2014 the Year of the Child

(1) Comments | Posted December 23, 2013 | 3:50 PM

This has been a very tough year for children. Recession, wars and natural disasters have impacted children in staggering numbers. More than 16 million children are living in poverty here in the U.S. and over 400 million children live in extreme poverty around the world. To...

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The Promise of the Yellow School Bus

(3) Comments | Posted December 9, 2013 | 11:25 AM

The experience at Newtown casts a long shadow across our nation. Though the months pass, we will never forget the faces of the children and their teachers, shot dead amid the fragrance of crayons, glue and juice.

One of the many things I have always loved about our democratic nation...

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Where the Wild Things Are Turns 50: The Child's Journey, the Memory of JFK and What Sendak Taught Us

(1) Comments | Posted December 2, 2013 | 10:51 AM

Maurice Sendak's great book Where the Wild Things Are has just turned 50 years old.

Sendak captured the inner and complex world of childhood, riveted by sorrows and pleasures: the dark fearsome corners and the underlying sense of both wanting to roam and explore and wanting to be home, where...

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5 Ways to Help Kids Live Lives of Gratitude

(0) Comments | Posted November 27, 2013 | 2:43 PM

As we approach Thanksgiving, and images of roasted turkeys and heaping bowls of sweet potatoes fill our minds, we have an opportunity to create and launch a teachable time with our children around the meaning of gratitude.

At the Thanksgiving table, ask everyone to take a quiet moment of reflection...

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Why I've 'Gone Back' to Print Books

(54) Comments | Posted October 21, 2013 | 4:29 PM

When the tablet revolution descended upon us, I was an early adopter for sure. I bought the first iteration of the iPad; I also got a Kindle. A voracious reader, I was now a voracious tech consumer. It was my firm opinion that just as Ben Franklin and his buddies...

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Stand Up for Girls Today: We Are Each Other's Strength

(1) Comments | Posted October 11, 2013 | 11:15 AM

Today is the International Day of the Girl. I want you to stand up at noon for every girl's right to tell her story. It sounds like a simple thing -- to stand up at noon. The action itself may be simple, but the statement and the intention behind the...

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Stand Up for Girls

(6) Comments | Posted September 27, 2013 | 1:25 PM

There is a photo I carry with me everywhere I go.

It is a photo of a little girl. She is nine years old. She is wearing a post-it on her lapel, held in place with a pen. While I was conducting a teacher training in her school in...

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A Back to School Call to Action: Let's Have Malala Day Every Day

(0) Comments | Posted August 26, 2013 | 4:23 PM

This summer, we hosted a team of interns at the LitWorld headquarters in New York City. They come from colleges and universities around the country, and they spend the summer doing grassroots education rights work on the ground while at the same time connecting with our hubs for innovation around...

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A Tale of 4 Anti-Heroes: Alex, Lance, Eliot and Anthony

(2) Comments | Posted August 21, 2013 | 10:51 AM

It is a hard time to be a kid. Two places where kids can dream, in their hearts and heads and the fullness of their childhoods, are in the worlds of sports and politics. They can picture themselves running the bases for the ultimate slide, throwing the ball to make...

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Voices and Choices: The Secrets to Summer Reading and Writing Success

(7) Comments | Posted July 26, 2013 | 5:00 PM

Let us emphasize the importance of children's voices and children's choices in both reading and writing experiences throughout the summer months.

Summer is an ideal time to empower children to master control of their reading lives. By supplementing the reading lists that are sent home with time for the child...

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Remembering Alice Paul

(3) Comments | Posted July 17, 2013 | 5:41 PM

Let's not vote for Eliot Spitzer or Anthony Weiner, for the sake of our daughters and every young woman growing up in New York City and around the world.

What Weiner did was despicable, gross and degrading of women. And yet his actions have been excused by many, or trumped...

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Let's Put the 'Summer' Feeling Back into 'Summer Learning' for Kids

(10) Comments | Posted July 8, 2013 | 6:57 PM

Truly joyous learning should and can happen 12 months a year. Yet, we still operate on the idea that there are only two options for children in the summer months. Children are either out of school, which worked in the agrarian times when many children were needed on farms, but...

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Six Messages for a Child

(2) Comments | Posted April 19, 2013 | 12:25 PM

As an educator and advocate for children, I get many queries after tragedy, especially about how we can help our children cope with what they have heard and seen. I hope these simple messages help.

1. Most of the time, people are trying to do the right thing.

"When I...

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The Rain Is Gone, Here Comes the Sun

(0) Comments | Posted April 10, 2013 | 1:36 PM

Hurricane Sandy caused many layers of destruction across New York, some too brutally seen under the harsh spotlight of loss, others more hidden, their own kinds of sadnesses becoming more visible as the weeks went on.

One of these sadnesses was the total destruction of the Bellevue Hospital's Children's...

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Humankind's Greatest Innovation is the Power of Story

(0) Comments | Posted April 4, 2013 | 7:42 PM

In these last five years, the word "innovation" has been used more than ever before, as people express reverence for the shiny silver Mac Airs and the ever slimming look of the mobile phone.

But in truth, there is just one innovation that has withstood the test of time, fought...

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World Read Aloud Day: Building a Worldwide Literacy Community

(7) Comments | Posted March 6, 2013 | 8:27 AM

Today is World Read Aloud Day. Before the day is over, hundreds of thousands of people will participate in one of the most precious shared human experiences.

Last week I delivered a keynote speech to an audience of educators titled "Creating a Worldwide Literacy Community." And today, by celebrating World...

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Share the Gift of Story on World Read Aloud Day

(6) Comments | Posted February 27, 2013 | 11:28 AM

One of my favorite read aloud memories is my mother reading the Little House on the Prairie books to me. I just adored those books. The coziness of their lives in spite of so much hardship and hard work, and the closeness of the family life always made me so...

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The Stand in the Schoolhouse Door

(1) Comments | Posted January 21, 2013 | 8:57 AM

Today, on Martin Luther King Day, we honor the passing on Thursday of a civil rights hero, James A. Hood, who integrated the University of Alabama in 1963 together with a fellow student Vivian Malone. This seminal moment when they entered the university to defend civil rights became known as...

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Today Is the Day of the Child's Story

(0) Comments | Posted December 17, 2012 | 10:05 AM

Today IS the day. Because today might have been the day one of those beautiful children lost another tooth, or learned to whistle, or sang a new song, or read for the first time, or made an art project, or wrote a story.

Today is the day one of those...

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