Parents and teachers will join forces on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 for Read Across America Day, which is not coincidentally the birthday of Dr. Seuss. Dr. Seuss is known for writing beloved children’s books such as “Cat in the Hat” and “Oh the Places You’ll Go.”
The celebration in some schools may last a week, and others may recognize, March 2nd, in honor of Theodore Seuss Geisel with the goal to promote reading through classroom activities and special visitors. This celebration is a wonderful opportunity for children to see how reading can be fun.
There are numerous ways to promote this week. As a building reading specialist I have coordinated many celebrations for the past 16 years. Here are our top 10 favorites:
- Invite community members in to read to classes. Students especially love police officers, firefighters, parents.
- Ask local television celebrities in to read. Many local television anchors are willing and happy to read aloud to a grade level or even an entire school. On several occasions the visits have been filmed and aired on the local news which was very exciting for the students.
- Contact a local sports figure (or mascot) to join the fun. Locally, our Pittsburgh Pirate Parrot visited many times. Although the mascot can not read, the read aloud becomes a lot of fun when the mascot is acting out a book such as “Casey at Bat” being read by a principal, teacher or Superintendent!
- Reach out to a local bookstore. Barnes and Noble is one example of a bookstore that may offer a promotional deal to schools that will afford districts a chance to invite a popular author in to read at a discounted price.
- Bring the world to your school for free. Visitors can join students remotely through a long distance connection. Skype in the Classroom has been a tool I have used for many years and have met many wonderful authors who have connected for free or for a minimal fee.
- Have a Dr. Seuss Riddle Challenge. A daily riddle is created by a group of students and then read on the morning announcements. All riddles pertain to a Dr. Seuss book that classes must solve within the hour. Winners are announced on a daily basis and the class with the most points by the end of the week wins a small popcorn and movie party.
- Create whimsical Seuss-like art to be displayed throughout the halls.
- Have a door decorating contest. Judges could be principals, art teacher and board members.
- Reach out to a local shelter to see if they have an outreach program. Handlers and their dogs visit individual classes and read stories to students. Students not only strengthen their listening and comprehension skills, but learn valuable information about how to interact with our furry friends.
- Have a reading challenge. Motivate children to read more with a book challenge. When the school meets the goal a reward will be earned. Display a large thermometer poster in the lobby of your school to see the progress being made.
Reading is a fundamental skill for children and NEA’s Read Across America helps children discover their potential. So let’s join forces and work toward the goal of creating a nation of readers and don’t forget to take the pledge! Reader’s Oath
Additional links that will help you to plan a great event: