CERN Accelerating science

The Art of Reading Aloud Day celebrated for the First time in Switzerland

Once upon a time, in the CERN Staff Association Nursery School and crèche, something very magical happened.

Initiated by the ‘Institut Suisse Jeunesse et Media (ISJM) the first ever ‘Reading Aloud Day’ took place on 23 May 2018 throughout the whole of Switzerland.

The goal of this nationwide event is to promote and celebrate the art of reading aloud, not only a pleasure which can be shared, but also a primary and highly useful educational aid. The nursery School and crèche was amongst the hundreds of other public and private establishments to take part.

Throughout the day, a large number of the nursery schools’ children’s parents spontaneously took part in this charming event and demonstrated how important story telling aloud is for the development of infants and young children. They took it in turns reading stories to children between the ages of four months and six years old. Despite inclement weather conditions, several story-telling sessions were held both outside and inside the school walls in several different languages, including French, English, German, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian.

You can read a good story anywhere!

  • In the CERN Nursery School foyer (building 562) teachers and parents alike were able to read stories aloud and peruse a number of children’s books, specially made available for that day.
  • In the classrooms, communal room and in a den made of cardboard, on the slide and even in the toy train in the nursery school garden.
  • In different locations within the CERN site; some children were lucky enough to listen to one dad reading stories in the Fire Brigade whilst having a snack and another group did the same in restaurant 1, listening to a story about ‘the witch Cornebidouille’.

The stories were complemented by a kamishibi, is a form of Japanese street theatre and storytelling with sets of illustrated boards that are placed in a miniature stage-like device to narrate a story. Parents and teachers read in pairs and even told the tales combining two different languages, German and French, or French and English. The infants were also treated to a few collections of poems!

We should like to thank all the parents who dedicated their time to this wonderful day of storytelling, which will be repeated next year on 22 May 2019.

And they all lived happily ever after.