Encouraging the Love of Reading with Read Across America Day

Grab your books and get ready to read with Read Across America Day!

Book Culture Bookish Lifestyle Events Recommendations Young Readers
Shows everyone from mother and son, to students, and children reading on a map of the USA

Every year, you can find educators, libraries, and various reading-centered communities prepared to read stories throughout Read Across America Day! Pioneered by the National Education Association, reading is celebrated as children are encouraged to read and dive into stories. There are various ways to get involved within your local community to share the love of reading and support for children’s literacy.

The Origins of Read Across America Day

In 1998, the National Education Association began Read Across America Day to inspire kids to read. Typically, this day occurs on March 2nd, as it also falls on the birthday of Dr. Seuss. This is why you can find many sporting Dr. Seuss-inspired outfits and reading the likes of Green Eggs and Ham during this day.

Book cover of Dr. Suess's Green Eggs and Ham with Green background and character looking at a plate of green eggs and ham.

Over the last two decades, the message has stayed the same: helping kids to read and enjoy reading too, especially throughout their time in school. Some things have changed a bit though — Dr. Seuss’s books are not the only books being read, but various authors too! Reading is powerful and gives children an opportunity to read stories where they can see themselves. They also learn from experiences that may be different from their own.

The Love of Reading Shared All Year Round

While March 2nd is the big day for everyone to celebrate, the National Education Association gives ideas and opportunities to celebrate reading and literacy all year round. Some examples include a festival of multicultural communities where families and the community can come together to experience food, music, and stories from the reading list that reflect the vibrant cultures around us. Kindness can also be spread throughout with encouraging mottos on bookmarks, and stories that celebrate kindness.

Left image shows square logo of National Education Association, with website, nea.org underneath. Right image shows logo for Read Across America, with National Education Association, Celebrating A Nation Of Diverse Readers on the bottom.

March is also National Reading Month and the NEA has compiled a booklist that can be enjoyed throughout March, or to be included in your year-long celebration of reading! No matter how you go about celebrating Read Across America Day, you can join the fun as we encourage children to read throughout the country.

For more about children’s books, click here.

For book recommendations for young readers, click here.