Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Read Across America Day

It's Read Across America Day, everyone! Now I know that this holiday is geared toward elementary school students and their teachers and librarians, but I thought that we could do some celebrating. What better way to celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday than by paying a little tribute to the man who got so many readers hooked, right?

What is Read Across America Day?

Read Across America Day is an annual event, celebrated on Dr. Seuss' birthday. Throughout the day, readers in schools all across America celebrate Seuss' birthday and do some Seuss related reading. 

The National Education Association has this to say about the wonderful day:

The National Education Association is building a nation of readers through its signature program, NEA’s Read Across America. Now in its 19th year, this year-round program focuses on motivating children and teens to read through events, partnerships, and reading resources.

My Memories

Unfortunately, I don't remember much about participating in the event because elementary school was such a long time ago! (I was in kindergarten 23 years ago!) I do remember I was in school when the event was launched, and that my elementary school celebrated every year with reading, writing Seuss inspired books and poems, and lots and lots of artwork. There were even some green eggs and ham to eat! That was literally the main lunch choice, and I never ate it! 

My Favorite Dr. Seuss Books

See what I mean about some of those
spines falling apart?
I'm a firm believer in the theory that a childhood is incomplete without reading one, two, three, or all of Dr. Seuss books. (Is that a real theory? If not, it should be!) It's a rite of passage for many children to read their first book, but it's a completely different rite of passage when one reads his or her first Dr. Seuss book!

As a young child, I loved picking up Dr. Seuss books and reading. Sometimes I would read just one a day, but other times, I'd read all the ones that we had at the house or at the school library. I would laugh at the silly words, characters, and plots, but I was also learning. I remember the feeling of accomplishment after reading one and then moving on to another. 

As an English teacher, I now see the importance of Dr. Seuss' books. They are a fun way to teach children how to read, often using rhymes with made up words to encourage kids how to sound out the words and apply those skills to bigger and harder books. Kids don't even realize that Seuss' books are so powerful because they are laughing it up and having a great time.

If you were to look in the book case in my parents' living room, you will notice that it's still full of a ton of children's books. There is a Dr. Seuss section in there, full of books from book fairs, library sales, and other places. I'm pretty sure that some of them were my dad's because the spines are falling apart and the covers have turned brown!

Out of the many Dr. Seuss books I've read, I definitely have a few favorites. One of those favorites would be the ever popular Green Eggs and Ham. I loved this book to pieces, and we had to buy another copy because I'm pretty sure I would have ruined the copy we had from the 70s. Another favorite of mine was The Cat in the Hat. I just loved seeing how much trouble that cat could cause!

Your Favorite Books

I went online and asked for your favorite Dr. Seuss books, and I got a few answers! Check out these bloggers favorite Dr. Seuss books!

So today, let's celebrate Dr. Seuss and the joy that reading brings to children across the country and the world! Read one of his books to your kids (if you have one) or read one to yourself for a walk down memory lane. You're never too old to read a children's book, and you're never too old to read anything by the one and only Dr. Seuss.

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