March is the month for reading — not that every month isn’t important for reading but this month is especially important. Let me tell you why. And how you can partake in the fun right in your own backyard.
No matter what type of town you live in, large or small, rural or urban, each one shares the same amazing gift. The local library. This month, I urge everyone to use this magical place to support the wonderful, educational ways that reading will be celebrated. All you need is a library card.
March 2nd is Dr. Suess’s birthday. His books are the most engaging, silly and creative works that will ever grace someone’s presence. They are a must in your home and school library, for children as well as adults. In celebration of his birthday, Random House and the National Education Association are urging everyone to participate in Read Across America. All this means is that you are encouraged to read to a child. Simple as that. If you do not own a Dr. Suess book, this is a perfect time to take advantage of your local library’s gifts. Borrow one, two or three of his works of art. Yes, works of art. The way the words and illustrations come together on each page of his stories is truly inspiring. Delve into these artistic creations from the library and partake in Read Across America with your children.
If you want to continue your child’s edcuation with this stories, take the reading a step further. Dr. Suess’s books are filled with rhyming words and poetic lines. Encourage your child to identify two rhyming words per page. Write these words on index cards and create a rhyming folder. After you collect several pairs from these books, jumble them up and challenge your child to find the rhyming pairs. Hang them around your home and refer to them often. As soon as your child mastered them, replace them with new sets of rhyming words.
In addition, Dr. Suess books are beautifully illustrated and arranged. The pictures are quirky and funny and the words are sometimes written in clever places, as opposed to just on the top or bottom of the page. Create an original story with your child and have them use Dr. Suess’s style for their book. Encourage them to refer to his books for inspiration. Share your Dr. Seuss inspired work of art with family members and friends and celebrate this amazing author’s gift of words.
Along with Dr. Suess’s birthday, March 7th is the second annual World Read Aloud Day, created by a wonderful organization called LitWorld. LitWorld is a worldwide non-profit organization that focuses on providing opportunities for the entire world, especially women and children, to become literate. They work to create long lasting literacy development in various countries, provide improved reading supplies and conditions and empower women and children to fight for their given right to read and write. World Read Aloud Day promotes the importance of literacy by encouraging everyone, near and far, to support this right.
The best part of March 7th is that everyone can participate locally. Visit your local library and celebrate the power of words by reading to your child. Spend some time there, reading and perusing books. Choose some to borrow and reread at home. Visit a local bookstore – many of them in your area will be celebrating this day by doing read alouds periodically throughout the day. Check beforehand to see the fun activities many of these places are planning for World Read Aloud Day. If your child is in school, talk with your child’s teacher about the importance of this day and ask to be a guest reader. Choose one of your child’s favorites (perhaps a Dr. Seuss book!) and read with your child’s class.
The most enticing part of reading is that it can be done anywhere, anytime, with anyone. You do not have to travel out of the country or even out of your town, it is universal and can be promoted everywhere. The mentioned events are ones that highlight not only the joy that reading brings to us but how necessary it is to our world as a whole. Share in this joy and necessity by celebrating Dr. Suess’s birthday and World Read Aloud Day. Visit a local library, your local bookstore or your child’s school. One of the best gifts you can give your child or any child is a love of reading and the key to this gift can be found right in your own backyard.