What is Read Across America Day?
Every year the National Education Association (NEA) celebrates reading and Dr. Seuss’s birthday by hosting Read Across America, a day to promote reading motivation and awareness. Cities, schools, and homes across the nation develop Read Across America activities to bring reading excitement to children of all ages.
Read Across America, the largest celebration of reading across the country, started in 1998. NEA decided, “We hold pep rallies to get kids excited about football. We assemble to remember that Character Counts. Why don’t we do something to get kids excited about reading? We’ll call it ‘NEA’s Read Across America’ and we’ll celebrate it on Dr. Seuss’s birthday.”
Research has shown that children who enjoy reading perform better in school. This time of year, amidst all the test-prep anxiety afflicting parents, teachers, and students, is a perfect time to motivate young readers and show them how exciting reading can be.
Tips and Tools for Celebrating Read Across America
If you have not yet planned any Read Across America activities, below are some quick and easy ways to incorporate Read Across America in your curriculum.
1. Celebrate Dr. Seuss’s Birthday with cupcakes and an author study. Partner up with a higher or lower grade level classroom for partner readings.
2. Hold a Reader’s Theater. Download free scripts here. You can also use Reader’s Theater to incorporate the excitement of reading in content areas. Having trouble finding scripts? Have your children use textbooks or magazine to write their own. You will be amazed at what they come up with!
3. Visit Reading Rockets to download Dr. Seuss bookmarks, Read Across America printables and activities, or even send an e-card in commemoration of Read Across America day.
For more tips and tools, download the complete kit for Read Across America Day here.
Tips and Tools for Celebrating Read Across America at Home
TV, videogames, computers and other distractions make it difficult for children to get excited about reading. How can you raise a child to be an enthusiastic reader? It’s easy – read to and with your children daily and encourage younger and older siblings to read together. Remember, it doesn’t have to be Read Across America Day to do celebrate reading with your kids–any day is a good day to read with them!
1. View, share and print The ABC’s of Reading to and with Your Child for a fun and helpful tips to help your emerging reader learn to love reading. Try them all!
2. Aside from the list above there are many quick and easy ways to incorporate a love of reading in your household: visit your local library regularly, hang out at the local bookstore on the weekends, let your child see you reading for enjoyment, subscribe to a children’s magazine, carry books and magazines to read with your child wherever you go, or encourage kids to bring something interesting they have read each day to the dinner table for a family discussion.
3. Visit PBS Kids for more reading games, stories, and videos to enjoy with your kids.
Photo from San Jose Library
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