Background of Read Across America Day
2 March, 2017

Background of Read Across America Day

What Is NEA's Read Across America?

This is the annual activity which is celebrated on the 2nd of March and serves the aim of increasing reading motivation and awareness. It calls for every child to read and commemorate Dr. Seuss, who was an amazing children’s author.

A very inspiring and heart-warming thing about the NEA's Read Across America is that it helps children, parents, caregivers, and NEA members to keep reading all year long. NEA's Read Across America achieves this by providing people with all the necessary resources to make reading a habit. 

Throughout all the United States of America, in all towns and cities of the nation, children, teenagers, parents, grandparents, librarians, teachers, actors, athletes, teenagers, politicians as well as many other groups of people develop and support the reading activities of NEA's Read Across America in order to provide joy of reading to the children of all ages. Elected officials such as mayors and governors understand the role of reading for the communities; this is why they support the activities held during this day very eagerly. In the meantime, actors and athletes organize and take part in reading challenges for children. At the same time, principals and teachers can do such crazy things as being duct-taped to the wall or dying their hair into the purple color. Just to make their students read more!

How It All Started

The decision to celebrate NEA's Read Across America was made not so long ago. The NEA initiative group gathered in May 1997 and started to think how they could stimulate children to read and celebrate reading. They recollected the activities that motivate children to get into sports and develop their character. Then they recognized that there were little to none activities which motivated children to read. “Why can’t we make an initiative to motivate children to read? Let’s celebrate reading! We can celebrate it annually on the day when Dr. Seuss’s was born,” the group thought. This way the first day to celebrate the reading happened on the 2nd of March in 1998. It was the biggest celebration of reading that the United States has ever seen. 

The Goal of NEA’s Read Across America

All of us know that motivation is a major factor in doing something. There are multiple courses, trainings, and workshops to increase one’s motivation. Similarly to how people want to be motivated to be rich, people should be motivated to read, because reading can influence people in profound ways. It is especially important for children and students. Reading is a crucial factor in students’ academic achievement and recent studies support this claim.  

Read Across America Sponsors and Partners

NEA’s Read Across America has the support of over 50 national association partners and NGOs. Over 3.2 million teachers, active and retired education professionals and students who prepare to become teachers are a part of the NEA.

If you want to get involved, contact your school, local library, or NEA association and take action! 

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