Read Across America is an annual reading initiative, sponsored by the National Education Association, that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on the school day closest to March 2, the birthday of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss. The 2016 celebration, the 19th consecutive, is Wednesday, March 2.
Motivating children to read is an important factor in student achievement and creating lifelong successful readers. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, for instance, children who were read to frequently also are more likely to:
- count to 20, or higher than those who were not (60% vs. 44%)
- write their own names (54% vs. 40%)
- read or pretend to read (77% vs. 57%)
Research has not only shown that children who are motivated and spend more time reading do better in school but that one in six children who are not reading proficiently in third grade fail to graduate from high school on time, four times the rate for children with proficient third-grade reading skills.
Suggestions for participating in Read Across America include volunteering to read at a school or community center, donating books to hospitals and homeless shelters or picking up a book to read yourself! NEA’s Read Across America Day expects more than 45 million readers, both young and old, to pick up a book and read.