Wednesday, February 29, 2012

NEA and Read Across America, grab a book and join in!

Every March 2, the National Education Association (NEA) celebrates the joy of reading on Dr. Seuss' birthday, and the Cat in the Hat serves as the honorary spokescat of sorts. His image will always instantly bring to mind the silly rhymes and unmistakeable illustrative style of Dr. Seuss.

It all began back in 1997, when some folks at the NEA came up with the idea to create a day for the celebration of reading. Who better to honor with this holiday than Theodor Seuss Geisel, the beloved children's author whose books have entertained children all over the entire world? The first "Read Across America" day was celebrated on March 2, 1998, which just happened to be during the first year that I taught preschool!

Over the years since, I've celebrated this day with preschool classes and with my own children. Back in 2009, after bloggily declaring The Lorax as my favorite of all Dr. Seuss books, I shared my thoughts on another Dr. Seuss book that I love, though it does differ from his other works. In 2010, Red and I tried our hands at making a paper Cat in the Hat hat of our own (don't judge my lack-of-craftiness skills), and her gigantic smile perfectly depicts how much we love books in our family. Last year, I interviewed each child about why he or she loves reading, and their responses made me smile then, and now.

This year, we'll all be in school on March 2, and thankfully for all three kids and me, reading is definitely valued in our respective classrooms. I'll be sharing stories with my preschool class, as always, and I think we'll have to fit in at least one Dr. Seuss story to stay in the spirit of the day. Red, Pudge, and JAM will all spend time on Friday, like every day, hearing stories read aloud, and reading and looking at books independently.

I cannot imagine a life without reading for pleasure, for myself and for my children. I'm happy to place an even brighter spotlight on the joy of reading on March 2, and I encourage everyone to don those red and white striped hats and join the Cat, Things 1 and 2, the Lorax, the Once-ler, and even Marvin K. Mooney, along with all the other unforgettable characters in a day of reading dedicated to the memory of Dr. Seuss.

For activity ideas, head over to's Read Across America page!

Usually with a book in hand,