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NEA’s Read Across America Meets Nashville’s Southern Hospitality

Reading rocks in Music City

On Feb. 29, four school busses rolled into Nashville’s Adventure Science Center, an institution dedicated to igniting curiosity and inspiring the lifelong discovery of science since 1945, and unloaded 200 students from Gower, Glencliff, and Stratton elementary schools for NEA’s Read Across America tour. National, state and local leaders read to students and celebrated reading.

Music City was the second stop of a six-city tour.

Before the main event, students were greeted by Nashville’s very own, Mr. Steve, a local musician who composes socially conscious music for children. He writes and performs original songs and is also a preschool music teacher. Students were then peppered throughout the science center for an out-of-this-world-reading experience. Twelve reading break-out stations were manned by volunteers and educators who led students through a story-writing workshop.

Third-grader Destiny Birch created a mythical monster, dubbed “The Lump,” which spent its time eating cocoa and drinking soda pop.

And while students were hard at work, the mischievous Thing 1 and Thing 2 were running in and out of each station, sometimes frowning, other times clowning. The rascally duo even took a quick trip to the science center’s Moonwalker exhibit, which gives explorers the feeling of walking on the moon with only one-sixth gravity.

On site to read the famed Green Eggs and Ham was Princess Moss, secretary-treasurer of NEA and Chelsey Herrig, chair of NEA’s Student Program. Other special guests included Earl Wiman, executive committee member to NEA; Barbara Gray, president of the Tennessee Education Association, and Erick Huth, president of the Metropolitan Nashville Education Association.

After a ballyhoo chant of “bring out the cat, bring out the cat” from students, the Cat in the Hat made another special appearance and helped local, state, and national leaders lead the excited group in the Reader’s Oath, where more students promised to read every day and every night.

Moss, who for several years, has traveled to dozens of schools and venues throughout the country to take part in Read Across America events says, “Reading is so important. It opens so many doors and there’s no limit to where students can go if they learn how to read and make it a priority.”


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Follow NEA's 2016 multi-city reading tour!

DALLAS: Feb 26, 2016

NASHVILLE: Feb 29, 2016

PHOENIX: March 1, 2016

SAN DIEGO: March 2, 2016

DENVER: March 3, 2016

ATLANTA: March 4, 2016