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Read Across America in June

Finding and embracing your passion can change everything.

Passion brings energy, grows confidence, and inspires persistence. Kids need time and opportunities to explore their interests and learn what they are passionate about. Books and stories can help kids understand the benefits of having a passion and spark new interests and excitement about the world.

For Younger Readers
More-igami by Dori Kleber; illustrated by G. Brian Karas (Candlewick, 2016) shares how making origami became Joey’s passion.

Discuss and explore:

This Story-Hour Kit from the publisher includes discussion questions, activities and reproducibles for More-igami. Have students watch how to fold an origami crane to help them better understand why Joey had to practice and have patience.

For Older Readers

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson (Dial Books, 2015) is a graphic novel adventure about Astrid who discovers a passion for roller derby as she and her best friend grow apart.

Discuss and explore:

There is much to discuss and explore in The Making of Roller Girl, a free resource from the author about the writing process, creating graphic novels, the real-life inspiration behind Roller Girl, and interviews with passionate junior derby skaters from around the world.

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown (Viking, 2015) is the true story of nine working class boys who overcame adversity to win a gold medal in rowing at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.

Discuss and explore:

Have students watch The Boys of '36 from PBS American Experience to learn more about the 1936 Olympic eight-oar crew and compare and contrast how their story is told in Daniel James Brown’s book.

Engaging Readers of All Ages
Have students generate ideas for a passion project—something they want to know more about, learn how to do, or create. Guide them to resources and give them time to develop their project and feel confident in their new knowledge so they can present their learning journey and products to peers and parents.Learn more about the Genius Hour movement to get students to explore their own passions or check out the ideas Edutopia has to help you bring student passions to student learning.

Additional Resources

Resources for Interest-Based Learning from Edutopia

Passion-Based Learning ideas from Mind/Shift

Helping Students Explore Their Passions Through Digital Inquiry

20 Time offers a template for helping students choose and develop a project that serves a real audience

Tech Tools to Help Students Follow Their Passions

Listen to experts talk about "Helping Students Find Purpose Through Passion and Play," an interview on BAM Radio's Studentcentricity

Edcommunities Groups

Collaborate with educators on this topic in the groups below.

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.

School Integrated Pest Management
This group will provide information and resources for integrated pest management training and advice for all educators and school districts . Pest management is important, but often overlooked, part of school safety. Pests can cause stings and bites, and can trigger allergies. In addition, some pests pose health threats by spreading germs and filth. Un-managed pest problems can result in damage to school property, unsightly landscapes, and other unsafe conditions.

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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