February 1st was World Read Aloud Day, or Ziua Internationala a Cititului Impreuna, and we wanted to celebrate this special day at our gym! Reading aloud has been a part of our gym's programing since the beginning. Every Saturday, we run a mandatory reading hour for the kids. One of the leaders reads a children's book aloud for all of our climbers, and then we have a short question and answer session about the story and its application in our lives. We have seen our kids become more interested in books and more attentive during read aloud times. We love sharing the importance of reading and stories with them.

On February 2nd, instead of holding our normal Saturday reading hour, we had a special ZICI event. This year's theme for ZICI was STIM, or the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), and our personal gym theme focused on seeds, plants, and seasons.

We began the day by reading a story together, as we normally do. We read the beautiful picture book Pandora by Victoria Turnbull, where one little seed has the power to change the entire landscape from something dead and dull to something living and beautiful.

Then we split into four groups, and all of the kids would rotate through each of the stations we had set up.

With Felipe, they read another beautiful picture book about the seasons.

With Marc, they looked through a book of only illustrations that showed how one patch of forest changed throughout every month of the year. They got to draw their favorite month.

With Ionut, they read a nonfiction book about seeds and learned about how amazing plants and their seeds are.

With Jenna, they got to plant their own seeds in little cups to take home and grow. They talked about what seeds need to grow, and then they talked about what we as human beings need to grow happy and healthy.

It was a lovely day and we were so happy to participate in celebrating reading together!

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