New Canaan Country School fifth-graders celebrated World Read Aloud Day with their friends in Mbola, Tanzania, March 6.

The two classes have an ongoing partnership through Connect to Learn, an organization that facilitates cross-cultural understanding. Their connection began through World Read Aloud Day several years ago.

Celebrated around the world annually on the first Wednesday in March, World Read Aloud Day is an awareness day advocating for literacy as a right that belongs to all people.

The NCCS students read excerpts of books they thought would interest the children in Mbola as well as help them to understand about daily life in New Canaan. They also read and sang "America the Beautiful."

Students from Mbola read excerpts from two of their favorite books, "The Magic Garden" and "Hawa the Bus Driver" and sang their school song.

NCCS students also spoke to their friends in Swahili and discussed why they think reading is important. "The kids have been learning so much about the importance of global literacy through this very special partnership," said fifth-grade teacher Kristen Ball, whose class has regular Skype calls with Lolongulu School and Ibiri Secondary School.

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