Skip to Content

Celebrities, Students, Teachers Join Forces to Celebrate NEA’s Read Across America Day On March 3


WASHINGTON - February 01, 2008 -

(En Español) From Seussville to Who-ville and Oh, those many great places in between, the Cat in the Hat will help put reading on the map!  The 11th annual Read Across America Day—the party with a purpose that gets kids of every age excited about reading—is expected to draw more than 45 million participants on Monday, March 3. 

“When children open the pages of a good book, reading can ignite their imaginations and open the doors to a reading wonderland,” said NEA President Reg Weaver.  “Whether it’s a thrilling mystery or a fantasy set in a land far, far away, find a nook and be in the company of your favorite book this Read Across America Day.” 

NEA’s Read Across America—sponsored by the 3.2 million-member National Education Association, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P., and more than 50 national partner organizations—is a year-round literacy campaign designed to motivate children to read by making it fun and culminates every year around the birthday of Dr. Seuss, the beloved children’s book author.

Revving up their engines, three Cat-A-Van tours will hit the road to bring the gift of reading to thousands of schoolchildren.  Covering more than 1,200 miles and visiting more than 18 cities, the tours will provide an estimated 12,000 books and thousands of cash grants to public schools and their libraries through a generous donation from NEA’s Books Across America.  Launched in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma, Books Across America provides books and cash grants to public schools in need.  More details on the program are available at www.nea.org/booksacross .

But the reading fun doesn’t stop there!  The Cat-a-Van tours will travel to Florida for “Read Across Spring Training,” designed to bring reading fun to ballparks as Major League Baseball teams show they got game by hosting special read-ins for local children.

Since 1997, NEA’s Read Across America has attracted some of the biggest celebrities in entertainment and sports to help children discover the joy of reading.  Past celebrity participants include Morgan Freeman, Garth Brooks, James Earl Jones, Amanda Bynes, Serena Williams, Tiki Barber and Michelle Williams.

“Although children have many distractions like TV, video games and high-tech gadgets, nothing rivals the power of reading the written word,” said Weaver.  “The challenge is cutting through the competitive clutter to get children energized about reading.  That’s why Read Across America has been so successful at cultivating a love of books for young readers—it makes reading just plain fun.”

Visit www.nea.org/readacross for more reading tips, book lists and information on local events happening nationwide.  Photos, video footage, public service announcements and other Seuss-tastic downloads are available to the media by contacting NEA Public Relations at (202) 822-7823 or newsdeadline@nea.org .

###

The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

Contact: Staci Maiers  (202) 822-7823