Tue, May 21

My Turn: Make every day Read Across America Day

School children across the United States will celebrate the 13th annual Read Across America Day on March 2. 

This event has become a yearly reading motivation and awareness program, impacting students and schools across the nation.  The creation and goal of Read Across America Day encourages every child in every community, across the land, to participate in reading. 

The first Read Across America Day began on March 2, 1998.  March 2nd is a significant date, the birthday of the beloved children's author Dr. Seuss.   He was born Theodor Geisel in Springfield, Massachusetts, on March 2, 1904. 

He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1925, and after his marriage in 1927, he began publishing cartoons and humorous articles for leading magazines in America. 

In 1936 he wrote his first children's book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, while on a vacation cruise.  Geisel joined the Army during World War II and wrote documentaries for the military. 

In 1954 he truly began his career of writing children's literature.  Geisel was introduced to a 250 word list that was considered important for children to learn reading; and from that list he created and published a book utilizing 220 of the words, bringing instant success with The Cat in the Hat. 

Geisel won the Pulitzer Prize in 1984, three Academy Awards, authored and illustrated 48 children's books. His works are available on CDs, animated television specials, and videos.  Theodor Geisel died on September 24, 1991, but Dr. Seuss lives on, inspiring and charming four generations of America's youth to explore and experience the joys of reading.

The 13th annual Read Across America Day draws more than 45 million participants.  The goal is to make reading a fun and fulfilling experience, encouraging children to keep turning pages, and creating a lifetime of reading enjoyment.  The celebration attracts a wide range of individuals including celebrities, politicians, community leaders, grandparents, and parents of all ages, reading with children across the country.

This would be Dr. Seuss's 106th birthday and Green Eggs and Ham is celebrating it's golden anniversary of 50 years. Schools across the nation will buzz with excitement during this exciting event.  

Different activities are found at the various schools including green eggs and ham served in school cafeterias, children coming to school in pajamas and reading with their favorite stuffed animals, school reading challenges, and of course, students and staff wearing red and white striped stovepipe hats. 

While March 2nd is a day honoring Dr. Seuss and encourages a life long commitment to reading please don't begin and end there; take a moment to sit down with a child and read, sharing the knowledge, joys, and enrichment reading brings to our lives.

Dianne Frazier is the Associate Director of Special Services/ELL Coordinator

for the Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District.