Read Across America

Get involved! NEA’s Read Across America Day is a nationwide reading celebration that takes place annually on March 2—Dr. Seuss’s birthday. Across the country, thousands of schools, libraries, and community centers participate by bringing together kids, teens, and books, and you can too! Incorporate these guides and activities to celebrate reading with young people.

Hats off to Garfield’s JROTC cadets, who joined in the celebration of “Read Across America Day” at Brooklyn Elementary in East L.A. on Friday March 10, 2017.

1SG Eason and SSG Buck and cadets joined the L.A. County Fire Dept., L.A. County Sherriff’s Dept., California Highway Patrol and several political dignitaries as well as prominent Garfield alumni in this national celebration of reading.

1SG Eason commented, “It was a great honor to exemplify the importance of reading for the lives of our young leaders of tomorrow.” Special thanks to C/1LT Joan Sanchez and C/2LT Erika Huerta for their contribution in this reading campaign. SSG Buck stated, “Reading is an essential tool in the development of character and future success!”

Theodor Seuss Geisel, who wrote children's books under the pen name Dr. Seuss sold over 600 million copies, and have been translated into more than 20 languages! Dr. Seuss worked as an illustrator for advertising campaigns and as a political cartoonist for a New York newspaper. During the Second World War, he worked as an animator for the US Army, where he produced several short films. He was a perfectionist, known to discard up to 95% of his material before settling on a theme for a new book.

This event marks the 20th anniversary of Read Across America, the nation’s largest reading celebration. About 45 million students, parents, and educators across the country participated in this year’s event. It is always held on March 2, the birthday of author Dr. Seuss, who was born in 1904. 

Since it originated in 1997, Read Across America “has continued to generate enthusiasm for reading nationwide, always emphasizing the importance of motivating children to read.

This year’s festivities included a reading event at NEA headquarters in Washington, D.C., attended by children’s book authors and more than 400 public school students. The crowd was treated to a surprise visit by a few characters from Dr. Seuss’s book The Cat in the Hat—the cat himself and Thing One and Thing Two. The children, many of them wearing a Dr. Seuss red-and-white stovepipe hat, also listened to a reading of the Seuss tale Green Eggs and Ham by Eskelsen García.

“One day of reading together can ignite a passion for reading,” she said. “It can provide the spark for reading together every day.”