NEA’s Read Across America and MAE’s Read Across Mississippi 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 children’s author Dr. Seuss.
NEA’s Read Across America also provides NEA members, parents, caregivers, and children the resources and activities they need to keep reading on the calendar 365 days a year.
In cities and towns across the state, teachers, teenagers, librarians, politicians, actors, athletes, parents, grandparents, and others develop MAE’s Read Across Mississippi activities to bring reading excitement to children of all ages. Governors, mayors, and other elected officials recognize the role reading plays in their communities with proclamations and floor statements. Athletes and actors issue reading challenges to young readers. And teachers and principals seem to be more than happy to dye their hair green or be duct-taped to a wall if it boosts their students’ reading.
In May 1997, a small reading task force at NEA came up with a big idea. “Let’s create a day to celebrate reading,” the group 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.” And so was born on March 2, 1998, the largest celebration of reading this country has ever seen.
The Purpose of Read Across America
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.
Read Across America Sponsors
At the national level, the National Education Association sponsors and spearheads the program with support from more than 50 national nonprofit and association partners. Locally, everyone-from schools to libraries to community centers to churches to hospitals to bookstores-is invited to host local events to celebrate and promote children’s reading.
Read Across America Partners
In addition to the 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, and students preparing to become teachers who make up NEA membership, some 50 national organizations and associations give their support.
Contact your local school, MAE, library, bookstore, or local chapter of NEA’s Read Across America partner organizations about events that are taking place in your community. Explore this website for information, ideas, and resources.
Begin Planning Now!
NEA’s Read Across America Resource materials offer numerous opportunites 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.