Skip Navigation
We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience, provide ads, analyze site traffic, and personalize content. If you continue to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies.
Toolkit

Classroom Resources to Celebrate the Freedom to Read

Find posters, bookmarks, stickers, and more to show your support for banned books and freedom from censorship in the classroom.
High school student reading graphic novel in the library Photo by Joe Ciciarelli on Unsplash
Published: 01/04/2023

Everyone has the right to choose what to read. In celebrating that right, you can help bring new perspectives and more understanding, empathy, and joy to readers in your community. 

These resources highlight why it is important to give kids choice in what they read, what you can do to support and protect their right to choose books from all viewpoints, and how you can help them access relatable, enjoyable reading materials. 

You’ll also find ways to celebrate our freedom to read and get students excited about taking advantage of this fundamental right.

Get Materials for Your Classroom or Library

Celebrate the Freedom to Read

Try these tools and activity ideas to bring celebrations of the freedom to read to your school and community. 
banned books week

Support the Freedom to Read

Pledge your support for free and open access to books for everyone.
School Library Journal Read Free Poster art

SLJ’s Read Free Poster

Download the Read Free Poster from the School Library Journal.
Diverse Students in Library

Celebrate Reading with a Book Club

Learn how to set up a book club at your school.
Storytime at school

Fun Ideas for Reading Events

Ways to celebrate and promote reading all year long.

Give Students Choice

There is no real freedom to read without easy access to books and opportunities to read what you want. When students are given choice in what they read, as well as support and time to read, they thrive. 
 
Students are more likely to enjoy books they choose themselves. Provide students with access to a collection of quality reading material from all different genres that is organized and enticing to readers. This could be your classroom library or school library or introduce students to your public library and encourage or arrange regular visits to check out books.  

Kids can be especially motivated to read when the books they choose are books they can keep as their own. Book drives, and organizations like First Book and Reading Is Fundamental can help provide students with new books for personal ownership. Need help finding books to put into the hands of readers? Check out these resources to help you bring free print and online books to qualifying schools and students. 

Prioritize Time to Read for Students

To take advantage of the freedom to read, time for reading has to be prioritized. Students need time to read every day in order to progress as readers. Giving students the time to read something that they choose and at their own pace not only gets kids excited about reading, it also helps them build confidence in their reading abilities and encourages them to read more. It can also improve vocabulary, increase comprehension and knowledge, and support development of analytical and critical-thinking skills. If the goal is to develop lifelong readers who revel in their freedom to read, kids of all ages should have time in class to read what they want to read. 

Learn more

Find Books to Celebrate and Support the Freedom to Read

These book recommendations can help you give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing access to books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought, expression, and experience. 
cropped version of Loteria book art

Books by Theme

Help students find age-appropriate books that show they are reflected and respected.
young boy in library stacks

Read Across America Recommendations—Find Your Book 

Choose from titles that students can see themselves in as well as books that open windows to lives different from their own.
cover of Book Speak

Picture Books that Celebrate Books  

Titles in this list are all about a love for books and reading. Use them to celebrate books, reading, and open access to ideas—all key ingredients in building a nation of lifelong readers. 
banned book club cover art

Books About Fighting for the Freedom to Read

In these titles, kids and teens fight for intellectual freedom, highlighting why all of us—young and old—deserve to make our own choices about what we read. 
Ho onani Hula Warrior book cover art

Challenged Books Recommended by NEA's Read Across America 

These recent book recommendations from NEA’s Read Across America were included in PEN America’s 2022 analysis of titles challenged and banned in school and classroom libraries.

Join Our Movement

We ask only what is right: equal opportunity for every student, every educator, every family. At home, in school, online, in Washington–there’s a right place for all of us to make a difference.
Hidden Figures cover detail

Recommended Books by Theme from NEA's Read Across America

Spread the joy of reading with these lists from NEA and Colorín Colorado to connect children and their families to diverse books, languages, and cultures.
National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.