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Celebrities to Join Cat in the Hat, Read to Kids at New York Public Library

Actors Uma Thurman, Jake T. Austin to kick off NEA’s Read Across America Day

WASHINGTON - February 27, 2013 -

Lights! Camera! Read! The National Education Association is rolling out the red carpet for a star-studded read-in to kick off the 16th annual Read Across America Day on Friday, March 1. Academy Award-nominated actress Uma Thurman and actor Jake T. Austin, star of the Emmy-winning “Wizards of Waverly Place” and ABC Family’s “The Fosters,” will grab their hats and read with the Cat.

More than 250 children from New York City public schools will gather at the Celeste Bartos Forum in the historic New York Public Library, which will be turned into a reading wonderland to provide some special Seuss-style reading inspiration and deliver an important message: 2 x 2 + 20 = good oral health and literacy habits.

This year, NEA has teamed up with Renaissance Dental to show the direct link between good oral health habits and literacy since American students miss more than 51 million hours of school each year due to oral health problems. Together, NEA and Renaissance Dental are asking children and their parents to brush for two minutes, two times per day and read for 20 minutes each day. That’s a daily total of 24 minutes focused on developing good oral health and reading skills.

WHAT: Celebrity-studded national kick off of Read Across America Day
WHO: Academy Award-nominated actress Uma Thurman
Actor Jake T. Austin Dennis Van Roekel, President, National Education Association
Rob Mulligan, President and CEO, Renaissance Dental
Michael Mulgrew, President, United Federation of Teachers (UFT)
Cat in the Hat, Thing 1 and Thing 2, Courtesy of Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P.
PHOTO OP: Celebrity readers and hundreds of students wearing red and white striped stovepipe hats to kick off the 16th annual of NEA’s Read Across America
WHERE: The New York Public Library, Celeste Bartos Forum
Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, New York, N.Y. (Entrance at 42nd Street)
Press set-up time: 9:15 a.m. EST
Event run time: 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. EST
CONTACT: Staci Maiers, NEA Communications, (202) 270-5333 cell,



The celebrity-studded national kick off of Read Across America Day is sponsored by NEA and Renaissance Dental. Read Across America, an award-winning literacy program designed to get students excited about reading, was founded by NEA in 1997 through a partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P., and Random House. From coast-to-coast, more than 45 million children are expected to participate—making it the nation’s largest reading celebration.

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The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.