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Crack open those books and read in March

When: March 2

What: Reading, writing and arithmetic. These are the basic skills that every student learns in school. However, teachers face many challenges in getting their students to read. Current trends indicate that 6.6 million children are at risk of not graduating from high school because they lack a proficiency in reading. To get kids motivated, encourage reading during Read Across America Day, celebrated March 2.

Background: In 1997, the National Education Association (NEA) decided it was time to get children interested in books. Inspired by sports rallies, which are designed to get people excited for big games, NEA decided to make an event that would get kids excited about reading. Observed annually on March 2, it honors beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss’ birthday.

Story Pitch: There are a variety of organizations and companies that can make the most of Read Across America Day. Schools are able to take advantage of the occasion by holding events dedicated to books and reading. Local libraries will also want to make the most of this day by promoting book borrowing, while bookstores and other book vendors may promote sales during this time. According to the NEA, children who spend more time reading do better in school. In light of this, pediatricians can also stress the importance of early reading and how it impacts development.

Story Hook: A report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation found millions of American children are reaching fourth grade without learning to read proficiently. Consider the following questions as you make your pitch:

  • What can parents do to encourage children to read?
  • How can a proficiency in reading affect students later in life?
  • Does a better grasp on reading encourage students to stay in school?
  • How can children with little interest in books be motivated to read more often?

Tips: An educator who focuses on reading and encouraging students to read would make an excellent resource. In addition, a children’s librarian who focuses specifically on children and their desire to read can discuss different ways to motivate children.

Resources:

Children’s Book Council
(212) 966-1990
cbc.info(at)cbcbooks.org
www.cbcbooks.org

The Children’s Reading Foundation
(509) 551-3226
newfoundationpress(at)yahoo.com
www.readingfoundation.org

National Education Association
(202) 833-4000
www.nea.org

Reading Rockets
(703) 998-2001
readingrockets(at)weta.org
www.readingrockets.org

–Researched, compiled & written by Kimberly Cooper
Event Dates & History Today from CHASE’S Calendar of Events

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