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Read Across America FAQ

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What is NEA’s Read Across America?

NEA’s Read Across America is an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss.

NEA’s Read Across America also provides NEA members, parents, caregivers, and children the resources and activities they need to keep reading on the calendar 365 days a year.

In cities and towns across the nation, teachers, teenagers, librarians, politicians, actors, athletes, parents, grandparents, and others develop NEA’s Read Across America activities to bring reading excitement to children of all ages. Governors, mayors, and other elected officials recognize the role reading plays in their communities with proclamations and floor statements. Athletes and actors issue reading challenges to young readers. And teachers and principals seem to be more than happy to dye their hair green or be duct-taped to a wall if it boosts their students’ reading.

How and when did NEA’s Read Across America begin?

In May 1997, a small reading task force at NEA came up with a big idea. “Let’s create a day to celebrate reading,” the group decided. “We hold pep rallies to get kids excited about football. We assemble to remember that Character Counts. Why don’t we do something to get kids excited about reading? We’ll call it ‘NEA’s Read Across America’ and we’ll celebrate it on Dr. Seuss’s birthday.” And so was born on March 2, 1998, the largest celebration of reading this country has ever seen.

Why NEA’s Read Across America?

Motivating children to read is an important factor in student achievement and creating lifelong successful readers. Research has shown that children who are motivated and spend more time reading do better in school.

Who sponsors NEA’s Read Across America?

At the national level, the National Education Association sponsors and spearheads the program with support from 40 national nonprofit and association partners. Locally, everyone—from schools to libraries to community centers to churches to hospitals to bookstores—is invited to host local events to celebrate and promote children’s reading.

Who are NEA’s partners in Read Across America?

In addition to the 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, and students preparing to become teachers who make up NEA membership, some 40 national organizations and associations give their support.

How can I get involved?

Contact your local school, education association, library, bookstore, or local chapter of a national NEA’s Read Across America partner organization about events that are taking place in your community. Explore this Web site fully for information, ideas, and resources.

When should I begin planning?

Begin planning now! NEA’s Read Across America resource materials offer numerous and various opportunties for involvement in children’s reading throughout the year. The first thing you should plan for is how, where, and when you will read to a child in your life—every day.

Where can I get more information about how to celebrate?

This Web site is chock full of ideas, information, and inspiration. Everything you need to plan a reading event, from simple to elaborate, is right here. Start at our main page and go exploring. Have fun!



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  • Online Media KitNEA's Read Across America Online Media Kit
  • anc_dyn_linksRead Across America FAQ
  • anc_dyn_linksBackground on Read Across America

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