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Read Across America Day

Updated on December 27, 2014
Read Across America Day
Read Across America Day

What Is Read Across America Day?

Read Across America Day is an annual motivation and awareness program run by the NEA.  The day is marked by school children around the Country reading and celebrating the benefits of reading in their schools and communities.  The purpose of a special day of reading is to reinforce the benefits of reading to children and to remind everyone that reading can be fun. March 2nd is the day that Read Across America is celebrated in honor of Dr. Seuss, the most beloved children’s author in history.

March 2, Dr. Seuss' Birthday, Was Chosen As The Day To Celebrate Reading
March 2, Dr. Seuss' Birthday, Was Chosen As The Day To Celebrate Reading

History of Read Across America Day.

Read Across America Day got its start in 1997.  In that year, an NEA task force recommended creating a day to celebrate reading and to create a program that would not only education children about the importance of reading but instill in children that reading is fun as well.  The task force decided to mark March 2, Dr. Seuss’s birthday, as the day to celebrate reading in classrooms around the country.

The first large Read Across America day was celebrated in 1998.  Since then, the Day has grown bigger and more creative.  In 2010, First Lady Michelle Obama joined the NEA President, Secretary of Education, members of Congress and hundreds of local school children at the Library of Congress to kick off the day.  It is estimated that 45 million children around the Country participated in reading events.

Some People Dress Up As Their Favorite Dr. Seuss Character
Some People Dress Up As Their Favorite Dr. Seuss Character
The Purpose Of Read Across America Day Is To Show Reading Can Be Fun As Well As Important
The Purpose Of Read Across America Day Is To Show Reading Can Be Fun As Well As Important
Getting Kids To Read Is The Best Way To Celebrate Dr. Seuss' Birthday
Getting Kids To Read Is The Best Way To Celebrate Dr. Seuss' Birthday

How To Celebrate Read Across America Day

The simplest way to celebrate Read Across America Day is to read with your children to reinforce how important reading is to them. However, most schools and communities have programs and celebrations to honor the day as well. For example, many schools allow children to dress up like their favorite Dr. Seuss character on March 2 and spend a part of the day sharing their favorite Dr. Seuss books. Many libraries have a special Dr. Seuss day and have community readings of Dr. Seuss’ best known works. In other communities, Dr. Seuss’ artwork is shared with schoolchildren along with his writing to celebrate the craft of creation.

To honor Dr. Seuss and help participate in the NEA program, Dr. Seuss Enterprises in conjunction with the NEA developed materials to help teach children about Dr. Seuss and the creative process of writing in general. The NEA website also provides resources and materials to help teachers and parents come up with ideas to reinforce the importance of reading to children while also teaching that reading can be fun as well. For more information from the NEA, go to: http://www.nea.org/readacross

 

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