Read Across America Day – March 2
Dr. Seuss Birthday
Honoring Dr. Seuss, Read Across America Day is celebrated on March 2nd, his birthday. The National Education Association (NEA) calls for every child to be reading in the company of a caring adult and sponsors events to inspire reading in children throughout our schools and communities. NEA's Read Across America is an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of beloved children's author Dr. Seuss.
Across the country, thousands of schools, libraries, and community centers participate by bringing together kids, teens, and books, and you can too! Celebrate at your school with your students on March 2.
Motivating children to read is an important factor in student achievement and creating lifelong successful readers. Research has shown that children who are motivated and spend more time reading do better in school.
PTA Positions on Literacy
Purposes of the PTA, "To develop between educators and the general public such united efforts as will secure for all children and youth the highest advantages in physical, mental, social, and spiritual education"
The Mission Statement of the California State PTA – "The mission of the California State PTA is to positively impact the lives of all children and families by representing our members, and empowering and supporting them with skills in advocacy, leadership and communications
1998 Resolution – Creating Lifelong Readers –page 242
1999 Resolution – Financial Literacy for youth – page 253
1989 Resolution – Literacy Education – page 136
Begin Planning Now! Key Resources
NEA's Read Across America Resource materials offer numerous opportunities for involvement in children's reading throughout the year. The only thing you need to do is plan how, where, and when you will read to a child or teen in your life -‐ everyday. Don't forget to join the Read Across America Fan page and Cause page on Facebook and check out the Read Across America Channel on Schooltube.com for videos.
National Education Association website -‐ http://www.nea.org/grants/886.htm
Don't Forget to Pledge
Check out the Read Across America Pledge site. You'll find readings large and small, readers tiny, readers tall. And don't forget to add your own, whether it's a school, library, classroom or home.
NEA Celebrates Reading with the Lorax in 2012
Green is the theme for a very special Read Across America celebration in 2012.
NBC/Universal's The Lorax Movie (featuring the voices of Taylor Swift, Zach Efron, Danny Devito and Betty White) opens nationwide March 2, 2012 and Universal, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, and Random House are joining NEA's Read Across America in a special Read Across America campaign featuring new posters, teacher guides, events and activities on the RAA website.
Did you know?? The Cat in the Hat was written by using 236 different words. Dr. Seuss wrote Green Eggs and Ham using only 50 different words. The publisher, Bennett Cerf, bet Dr. Seuss $50 that he couldn't write a book using just 50 words. So he did, and it is the fourth most popular kids' hardcover of all time.
Create a Reading Event
The following is a simple scenario for elementary or middle school teachers who want to conduct an NEA's Read Across America event in their classroom. This is by far the most typical celebration and can be easily adapted to other situations.
- Consult your principal and obtain approvals. In our experience, principals love NEA's Read Across America. Most will not only support your efforts, they will become actively involved. If your principal hasn't heard of the program, refer him or her to this web site.
- Look at your school's calendar and choose a date to celebrate. The official day is March 2. If this conflicts with another event, feel free to pick a different day. Some schools celebrate the week before or after. Talk to your principal and check your school calendar as early as possible to avoid any last minute problems.
- Read our copyright and licensing arrangements. It's important to honor our agreements with Dr. Seuss Enterprises in order to maintain our special relationship.
- Consult with your school librarian. It's likely that he or she is already familiar with Read Across America and may have ideas to offer. Reserve books in advance—there may be a run on Dr. Seuss titles!
- Ask other teachers if they are making plans. Consider coordinating your efforts for a schoolwide event.
- Invite guest readers to come to your class on March 2 and read to your students. By far, this is the most popular activity. There is something powerful about a policeman, firefighter, mayor, radio personality, pastor, high school quarterback, or grandmother sharing their love for reading. Be sure and ask your guests to talk about why reading is important in their lives, and about their favorite books when they were kids. Afterwards, have your students write thank-‐you notes.
- Get some hats! Everyone wants the famous Cat in the Hat hat, make your own from red and white construction paper. A 39 oz. coffee can has a good diameter for the crown, and you can trace a large dinner plate for the brim. This makes a fun class project. There is also a pattern from "Craft Elf" at www.craftelf.com/Craft_elf_sewing_felt_top_hat_sewing_instructions.htm that uses red and white felt; perhaps a parent volunteer would be willing to make these for your class.
- Reproduce Certificates of Participation and Appreciation. Children love receiving tangible acknowledgement of their efforts, and your adult helpers will appreciate being thanked. You can download a predesigned certificate from our Materials area, plus other fun things.
- Send information home to parents, along with parent reading tips. Some parents may offer to help, and a few may volunteer to be guest readers.
- Let the world know about your plans by taking the Pledge to Participate.
- If you're an NEA member, contact your Local Association and let them know about your plans. They may offer ideas and support.
- Explore this site fully for ideas and resources. There is a lot of information that will be useful if you want to expand on the basics.
- Put on your hats for the big day! Enjoy your guest readers. Eat birthday cake, drink punch, and don't forget to sing "Happy Birthday" to Dr. Seuss. Read, read, read, and have fun!
Explore the Many Hats of Dr. Seuss
To honor Ted Geisel (a/k/a Dr. Seuss) on the anniversary of his birthday, NEA, in conjunction withRandom House Children's Books, has developed materials to help educators and others takechildren on an in-depth odyssey to learn about the man behind the pseudonym.