Skip to Content

Read Across America in March

Launched in 1998 by NEA, Read Across America is the nation’s largest celebration of reading, focusing coast-to-coast attention on the importance and the joys of reading! While NEA’s Read Across America provides resources to keep kids reading 365 days a year, events and activities—with red and white hatted readers—bring reading excitement on Dr. Seuss’s birthday. Commemorate the 20th anniversary with your own adaptation of these awesome archived activities from Read Across America celebrations of years past.

For Younger Readers

In Negaunee, Michigan, students at Lakeview Elementary took the whole month of March to literally Read Across America, filling in a new state on a wall-sized U.S. map when each class met a reading goal. The final celebration included an afternoon of “Exploring American Culture” with students visiting different classrooms to hear speakers and share books about the peoples and places that make up the United States.

For Read Across America, Stockbridge Elementary in Stockbridge, Wisconsin, hosted a "Celebrate the Family” family literacy night. Families in pajamas read together then wrote a "Praise Poem" to celebrate their unique family. Photos and poems were displayed for all to enjoy on a special "Wall of Readers."

At Maud E. Johnson Elementary in Rockford, Illinois, the first grade and primary special education students presented a musical program, "Sing Across America - Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss" featuring songs and poems about the United States of America, Dr. Seuss and his creative use of the English language, and book characters who wear hats.

Students at East Elementary in Fairborn, Ohio, met a DIRT (Do Independent Reading Time) challenge, so school officials dressed up like flowers and veggies, were “planted,” and then watered by the school secretary. A garden themed evening of reading, soup, and salad followed and included a visit with master gardener and books for every student about gardening.

Principal Earl Wiman vowed to the 500 students of Alexander Elementary School in Jackson, Tennessee that he would eat worms if they read 10,000 books by March 2. They read more than 13,000 books and true to his word, Principal Wiman sat in front of an eager audience of students and devoured his “bookworms” stir-fried.

In Meadville, Pennsylvania, West End Elementary School honored grandparents as wonderful people to share a book with. Their school wide assembly introduced grandma/grandpa volunteer classroom readers and included a Dr. Seuss tribute skit presented by seven families made up of grandparents and grandchildren.

The K-2 class at Vineland Elementary in Rotunda West, Florida, traveled in a virtual submarine to join the USS ReaderShip in Virginia. Via the Internet, students shared stories with a Newport News, Virginia, kindergarten class and turned their classroom door into a "port of call" to share their Florida to Virginia reading experiences with the whole school.

For Older Readers

The Utah Education Association sponsored a Dr. Seuss Drama Competition, inviting drama students in secondary schools to develop and perform a 15-minute one-act play based on a Dr. Seuss book. The winning school received $2,000 to purchase theater department supplies and performed their play as part of UEA's statewide Read Across America celebration.

Ocean City Intermediate School in Ocean City, New Jersey, launched its “Reading Sets You Free—A Holocaust Awareness Project" for Read Across America. Everyone in the school community was given the name of a survivor or victim of the Holocaust. Every time a book was read, a butterfly-adorned card was filled out with the book information and who it was read in honor of until cards filled the entire school campus.

During "Read Across America—¡En Español!" Barnstable High School students in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, read and dramatized two stories, “Caperucita Roja" (Little Red Riding Hood) and "Los Tres Osos" (Goldilocks and the Three Bears) for first and second grade students at Hyannis West Elementary School.

The Student California Teachers Association (SCTA) in Arcata, California, teamed up with Humboldt State University's athletic teams to go out into the local community to read to children in local elementary schools and show kids that reading is really cool!

Additional Resources

Edcommunities Groups

Collaborate with educators on this topic in the groups below.

Supporting Pre-Service Teachers
Welcome to Supporting Pre-Service Teachers! This group is for educators who work with and support pre-service teachers. Pre-Service and Early Career teachers will also benefit from joining this group. Mentors and cooperating teachers are strongly encouraged to join! Notes of encouragement, sharing of resources, good articles, and venting is welcome too. This group is solutions driven - the goal is to find realistic solutions to support our pre-service and cooperating teachers and address any concerns and questions that come up.

Illinois Education Matters
Illinois Education Matters is a network for all practitioners in education - IEA members and non-members. This effort is designed to serve as a repository for professional development, tools, resources, and information on grants, conferences / workshops, etc. Imagine this as your one stop for all connections. If you have joined our group, please message me - letting me know that you joined. I do not get any information telling me you joined. Our membership is so large, it takes me forever to go through and see our new members. Thanks for your help. You can also join other active groups on edCommunities. Several IEA members are facilitators for edCommunities. Check out and join their groups, if interested. Mary Ann Rivera - Illinois ESPs Mary Jane Morris - Illinois Education Matters IEA Jillian Huber - Integrating Reading and Writing 9th-12th Jim Grimes - Higher Education Amy Kappele - Early Childhood Development & Education

Secondary Literacy
Do you want to inspire your students to think critically, to analyze works, and to use their imaginations on a daily basis? Do you want to explore ways you can integrate reading into writing curricula and writing into reading curricula in your high school classroom? Join us at the Integrating Reading and Writing 9th-12th group to share, explore, and discuss ways for teachers of all content areas to link these two important life skills together in order to help students get the most out of themselves every day.

Our Read Across America Online Store is Open!

Visit to purchase stickers, bookmarks, pencils, mugs, hats & more. We have all you need to create a memorable RAA celebration.


Pinterest icon facebook icon Twitter Icon Instagram Icon Flickr  icon


Download the Read Across America 2017 Recommended Books Poster here (PDF).

Click here to download the 2018-19 Read Across America Resource Calendar and Poster!



Reading Rockets offers a wealth of research-based resources designed to launch young readers. It's for parents, teachers, and other educators in helping struggling readers build fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension skills.

Coming in 2019...

National Arts in Education Week
September 8-14, 2019

American Education Week
November 18-22, 2019

Coming in 2020...

NEA's Read Across America Day
Monday, March 2, 2020

National Teacher Day
May 5, 2020

National Teacher Appreciation Week
May 4 - 8, 2020