Make Dr. Seuss Proud: Five Ways to Celebrate Read Across America Day


Shout hooray! I’ll lead the way. I’m so happy to say… It’s Read Across America Day!

Every year on March 2nd, I speak entirely in rhyme. This tradition began back in 1999, my junior year in high school and (twenty years later) there’s no end in sight. I felt joy pulsate through my body when my Language Arts teacher told us about Read Across America Day. Not only was it Dr. Seuss’ birthday, but it was mine too. I felt it my duty to speak in rhyme all day: rapping, chanting, making up ridiculous nonsense words and paying homage to the late great Theodor Seuss Geisel.

Dr. Seuss was a children’s author and cartoonist. He’s written and illustrated more than sixty books, selling over 600 million copies that were translated into more than twenty languages. These classic favorites include: The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. He is known for his drawing style, creative storylines, verse rhythms, and his powerful rhyming skills. His most popular books were published in the 1950s and 1960s, but currently, outsell the majority of newly published books.

What a phenomenal man! He needs to be celebrated, right? You bet your Fox in Sox he does!. In 1998, a small reading task force at the National Education Association (NEA)  created the largest celebration of reading this country has ever known. More than fifty non-for-profit organizations, hundreds of libraries, millions of schools, community centers, hospitals, and bookstores celebrate Read Across America Day. It is a national reading-palooza, a pep rally for literature and a book bonanza for all.

Do you have a special child in your life? Join the excitement and celebrate Read Across America Day with them today. Here are five tips to make reading fun and engaging:

  1. Superstar Actor- Videotape your child reading using a camcorder, or your cellphone. The adult could play the role of the narrator, while the child pretends to be the characters in the books, owning the roles. Have them read in silly voices (low tone, high-pitched, squeaky, accents) and move their bodies to the verbs. You could share it with relatives, friends or post them to a password protected blog.
  2. Create Reading Challenges- Time your little one to see how slowly they can read, using a sloth or robot voice. Reverse this action by having them read as quickly as they can, using a silly voice.
  3. Literary Field Trip- Take a trip to the local library, museum or bookstore. These community buildings often host author visits, public readings, and events on Read Across America Day.
  4. Skype, Google Duo or Facetime– Reach out to a grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin or family friend who live near or far. Have your child read to them and encourage them to return the gesture.
  5. Build Reading Caves or Forts- You can use blankets, towels, comforters, and pillows to make a comfy reading oasis for your child. Camp-themed books and snacks would be an added bonus.

Read Across America Day is a holiday to celebrate literature. Whether you take your child to a special event or simply have a reading party at home, take the time to dedicate your day to reading. We are not only honoring one of the greatest children’s authors of all time, but we are also awakening the magic of literature into future authors, community leaders, teachers, and entrepreneurs. Today, we take a huge step to instill the love of reading into the next generation. Dr. Seuss would be oh-so-proud.

Shout hooray! I’ll lead the way. I’m so happy to say… It’s Read Across America Day!