Matthew R. Stover
What’s On Your Shelf For Read Across America Day 2023?
On March 2, 2023, collaborate with your students and teachers to involve your entire school in this reading-forward day.
Established by the National Education Association in 1998, Read Across America Day continues to be an annual celebration of literacy across the country. Formerly focused on the birthday of Theodore Seuss Geisel - aka Dr. Seuss - the attention has since turned from his collection of tales to focus on reading as a fundamental practice. Schools spring into action to get their students reading, with themes, parties, activities, and more.
There’s no wrong way to celebrate Read Across America Day, but there are lots of right ways! Plan with your colleagues or collaborate with your students to find the best “you” way to celebrate this year. From involving your community to keeping the celebration in your classroom, there are lots of creative ways to magnify literacy and get kids reading.
Consider also that not all kids have access to books at home, so any opportunity to gift books to your students is a good one. Invite local sponsors to donate to buy books for students or host a readathon where pledged money goes towards supporting a classroom library or buying one book for every student in your classroom or school.
Other creative ways to celebrate Read Across America Day include:
#1 - Post Shelfies. Take photos of your classroom or home libraries and post them on your school’s social media. Or have your students curate the best books in your classroom and create their own shelfie for their class.
#2 - One Book, One School. Purchase the same book for every student in your school and have everyone enjoy reading it together on Read Across America Day. Create even more excitement by hooking up with another classroom across the country and have kids write pen pal letters to one another about the book.
#3 - Door Themes. Have each classroom choose a favorite book and decorate their door based on a theme. Then take tours of the school, where each class gives a quick Book Talk about their choice. Or, go digital and have the kids do a BookTok for social media.
#4 - Party Time. Plan a book-themed party with decorations, activities, and food based on the book, and plan reading from the book. Kids can even put on a play from a section of the book or invent games based on an idea from the book for everyone to play.
#5 - Paws to Read. Create an event where kids get to read to pets, perhaps even inviting in a local pet shelter to help with the event. The more community involvement you can get to draw attention to reading, the better.
No matter how you celebrate, the focus will be on literacy and encouraging kids to read. Consult your community, including independent bookstores, for ways in which they can be involved this year.