An estimated 45 million educators, parents, and students nationwide will participate in NEA’s Read Across America on March 2. NEA launched the popular literacy program in 1998 to emphasize the joy, fun, and adventure of reading. As NEA’s Read Across America program has evolved since then, and as our nation’s demographics have shifted, the Association has taken steps to reflect the more diverse student population and all grade levels. In 2019, children from racial and ethnic minority groups comprised more than 50 percent of public K-12 students.
In time for the 2019-20 school year, NEA rebranded the Read Across America program with a new visual look and feel, including a new brand identity and a redesigned web site. Read Across America is a year-round program that promotes reading fun and discovery with its digital activity and resource web site and a print version of the web content. The rebranded mission of the popular reading program is to “Celebrate a Nation of Diverse Readers” all year long by focusing on diverse books, authors, and readers.
“The titles and resources featured in this year’s Read Across America digital calendar (readacrossamerica.org) include books in which students can see themselves, as well as books that allow readers to see a world or a character that might be different than them,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. “Readers who feel included, recognized, and part of the world are engaged readers. We hope people will share these recommended titles—and many more—to celebrate Read Across America throughout the year.”
The digital activities and resources calendar also makes it easy for educators and other children’s literature lovers to find educator-recommended books that “Celebrate a Nation of Diverse Readers.” The digital calendar provides expanded content, such as classroom activities, videos, resources, and ideas based on the 36 books recommended for this school year.
Read Across America offers limitless opportunities for involvement in children’s reading throughout the year. The year-round program can fit reading fun into your calendar daily, weekly, or monthly and includes big celebrations of reading in classrooms and libraries on March 2, Dr. Seuss’ birthday, throughout National Reading Month in March and on September 8 for International Literacy Day.
To assist with their statewide and local events and activities, NEA awarded $100,000 in “Read Across America State Event Grants” to nine of its affiliates, ranging in amounts from $5,000 to $20,000. The grants are designed to enhance Read Across America events and activities based on the theme of “Celebrating a Nation of Diverse Readers” with an emphasis on diverse books. The state affiliates receiving event grants were: Colorado Education Association, Connecticut Education Association, Federal Education Association, Indiana State Teachers Association, Maine Education Association, Missouri NEA, North Dakota United, South Carolina Education Association, and the Wyoming Education Association.
For more information on NEA’s Read Across America, visit: readacrossamerica.org