Wednesday, March 2 was the National Education Association’s (NEA) annual Read Across America Day.
Read Across America Day was created to motivate children to read and create “lifelong successful readers.” The minor holiday is appropriately celebrated on the birthday of children’s author Dr. Seuss, who once wrote, “You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.”
The idea for Read Across America began in 1997 when a small group at NEA decided that if pep rallies are held before football games and assemblies take place to promote positive character, then educators should also host a celebration to encourage reading.
With the assistance of more than fifty national non-profit associations, Read Across America provides NEA members, teenagers, teachers, librarians, politicians, actors, athletes, parents and grandparents with resources and activities for reading.
President Barack Obama made a Presidential Proclamation on March 1, which called upon “children, families, educators, librarians, public officials, and all the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.”
“With parents, teachers, and communities working together, we can ensure reading is a national priority and American pastime. By recommitting to improving literacy and raising the expectations we have for our students, for our schools, and for ourselves, we will win the future for our children and give every child a chance to succeed,” said President Obama in his proclamation.
To pledge participation in Read Across America day, readers can register at the official Read Across America website and sign up to receive year-round emails regarding reading events and opportunities in their area.