Celebrating the birthday of our dear Dr. Seuss on March 2nd with the National Education Association’s Read Across America campaign is now in its thirteenth year. The campaign encourages children to embrace reading through local and national activities. Celebrity readers, teachers, and care givers, amongst others, will flaunt red and white top hats and share treasured, zany characters such as, Sam I Am, The Cat in The Hat, Star-Belly Sneetches and The Lorax, with children across the nation and celebrate the legacy that is Dr. Seuss. This year’s theme is green to coincide with the movie release of “The Lorax” by Universal Pictures, which will be in theaters starting March 2nd.
Many state associations have expanded on the national theme. The Maryland State Education Association (MSEA) website shares that, “Motivating children to read is an important factor in student achievement and creating lifelong successful readers.” In addition to celebrations across the state in schools, public libraries, and businesses, the MSEA has initiated two month long challenges to encourage reading. The first is the 30 in 30 Challenge, which challenges children to read 30 minutes a day for 30 days beginning March 2nd and ending March 31st. They can read alone, or in a group and must keep a calendar log of their commitment. They are encouraged to post a favorite reading experience to the site by April 1, 2012 and enter into a random drawing to win a Kindle Fire or Amazon gift card.
The Radical Readers program is the second month long event sponsored by the MSEA. Radical Readers is open to all public middle school students in the state. It encourages this age group to pick up a book instead of pursuing other distractions. Students download a registration form, fill it out and send it back with a list of books read from March 2nd to March 31st for the chance to win an Amazon gift card or a Kindle Fire. To qualify, the submission must be postmarked by April 2, 2012. A kickoff for the event has been scheduled for February 29, 2012 from 10am to 12pm at the Spauldings Branch Library in Prince Georges County. Helping with the kickoff will be actor and musician, Tray Chaney and radio personality Angie Ange from WKYS radio.
Encouraging children to read at a young age fosters a lifetime of reading. To learn more about Read Across America celebrations go to your state’s education association website, talk to your child’s school or call your local branch of your public library.
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