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Read Across America in August!

Set the tone for the new school year

All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold; illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman

All are welcome at this school where diversity is celebrated and songs, stories, talents, and traditions are shared.

Text copyright © 2018 by Alexandra Penfold. Jacket art and illustrations copyright © 2018 by Suzanne Kaufman. Images reproduced with permission of the publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books.


Share this book

Start the school year off right when you welcome students and families with books and reading fun! When you share All Are Welcome, you deliver the important message that school is the place where every child is welcome. Follow the example in this book and host a community-building back-to-school event that opens opportunities for talking about diversity, how we can learn from each other, and how we can have fun together even if we are different. Include a reading aloud of All Are Welcome at a back-to-school potluck picnic along with:

  • students and parents making welcome banners to decorate your school
  • a photo booth with props that say “welcome” in all the major languages spoken in your community
  • an opportunity for families to sign up for a public library card

Questions for Discussion or Reflective Writing

What does it mean to feel welcome?

What are some ways you can welcome students to your classroom, school, and community?

What is one thing you can do every day to be welcoming?

Have you ever felt like you weren’t included in something? How did that make you feel?

Tell about a time when you saw someone being weloming to someone else.

Related Resources

Brightly Storytime video read aloud of All Are Welcome
Lee & Low: The Right Read Aloud for the Classroom Community You Want This Year
How to Create a Welcoming Classroom Environment for ELLs from Colorin Colorado
Creating Safe and Welcoming Schools For All Children & Families

More Titles to Try

I’m New Here by Anne Sibley O’Brien
Someone New by Anne Sibley O’Brien
School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex
The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson
We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins
Wishtree by Katherine Applegate

For Middle Grade Readers

Calling All Minds by Temple Grandin

Related Resources

Invent It, Build It guide from PBS Design Squad
9 Activities to Get Your Learners Thinking Like Inventors
Invention Convention curriculum

More Titles to Try

Mistakes that Worked by Charlotte Jones
What Color Is My World? The Lost History of African-American Inventors by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
What Do You Do With an Idea? by Kobi Yamada 

For Teen Readers

We Are Here to Stay: Voices of Undocumented Young Adults by Susan Kuklin

Related Resources

We Are Here to Stay discussion guide from Candlewick
Toolkits and Resources from United We Dream
Undocumented Americans video from the American Psychological Association

More Titles to Try

Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card by Sara Saedi
Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas
The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
Someone Like Me: How One Undocumented Girl Fought for Her American Dream by Julissa Arce

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.


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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