Posted tagged ‘Read Across America’

We love to Read Across America

March 1, 2016

Read Across America 2016

Read Across America is one of my favorite reading celebrations. It’s entertaining and creative and a little wacky. My son has done fun projects, from decorating a “Cat in the Hat” hat in preschool to reading about the real life of Theodor Seuss Geisel. “I admire Dr. Seuss because he made the Grinch and the Grinch is funny,” he wrote when he was in the third grade.

On March 2, let’s settle down with a good book and celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday with Read Across America Day. This year’s focus is on Dr. Seuss’ newly discovered book, “What Pet Should I Get.”

In the free downloadable “Read Across America 2016 Classroom Activity Guide,” you’ll find a lot of ideas and tips for celebrating reading, pets, and imagination.

Here are some great ideas from this guide for kids that combine reading, animals, and imagination:

* Read to your pet. Build your speaking confidence by reading out loud to your dog, cat, or favorite stuffed animal. Pets enjoy the sound of your voice and you’ll have a devoted audience.

* Tell animal tails. Write a story from your pet’s point of view. Include animal facts and experiences with your own pets.

* Imagine a perfect pet. Create a new fantastic pet of your own. Describe its size, shape, attributes, personality, behavior, and appetites, and then write a how-to guide for caring for this special pet.

* Draw pet portraits. Using a photograph of a pet or animal, draw a pet portrait with Dr. Seuss’ whimsical style.

* Help animals in need. Support your local animal shelter by hosting a “Read for the Animals Read-a-thon” or creating artwork as a fundraiser. You could even make a class booklet about caring for pets and being a responsible pet owner.

And before you put your book in a nook… give your book a special look! Check out Avery’s free printable Reading Awareness labels and bookplates for your books.

Dr. Seuss declared, “You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read with a child.” What will you read today? And where? And why?

Take flight with Read Across America

February 24, 2015

Read Across America

You’re off to great places. Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting. So… get on your way!
– Dr. Seuss

No matter how old and crafty you are, you can celebrate Read Across America Day on March 2. The theme of this year’s Seussical celebration is the Dr. Seuss classic, “Oh, The Placed You’ll Go!” (which is also celebrating its 25th anniversary). The book is popular for graduations, but the book’s enthusiasm and optimism are encouraging for all ages. Take its message to heart: “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose!”

I encourage you to read every day – and let children see you reading. Whether it’s a novel, newspaper, magazine, or manual, if you set a good example, kids will learn that reading is important. They may even choose a book and read next to you! Here are 3 more things you can do to celebrate Dr. Seuss and Read Across America:

* On Oahu, Kauai, and Maui… Take a child to storytime! On February 25 at 10:30 am, the Storybook Theatre of Hawaii in Hanapepe, Kauai is celebrating their annual Read Across Kauai Literacy Day with storytelling in the Peace Garden Amphitheatre. On February 26 at 3 pm, the Mililani Public Library in Mililani, Oahu is celebrating Dr. Seuss Read Day, when special guest readers will read their favorite Dr. Seuss books. On March 2 at 7 pm, there are free storytimes at Barnes and Noble in Honolulu, Oahu and Lahaina, Maui.

* On the Big Island… Spend an afternoon reading. On March 4 from 1 to 6 pm, children who spend time reading at the Hilo Public Library in Hilo, Hawaii can receive a free gift.

* On Kauai… Sponsor a child or class to promote literacy and reading. The Storybook Theatre of Hawaii in Hanapepe, Kauai is hosting a two-month event that partners schools and classrooms with local authors. This year’s theme is environmental literacy.

* Explore the science of flight with a printable 2015 classroom activity guide from Younger students could design baskets that float using helium balloons, while older students could build their own hot-air balloons. Students could also design their own mazes or learn how to make simple machines to move objects. You could even plan a field trip to the Pacific Aviation Museum at Ford Island, Oahu – on May 16, they will host Open Cockpit Day when visitors can climb into the cockpit of a historical aircraft and talk story with pilots (kama‘aina admission is $15 for adults, $10 for children).

How will you celebrate Read Across America Day? Will you read a book to a child or with a child or ask a child to read to you?

Read with excitement across America

February 25, 2014

Read Across America - Sink Your Teeth

Grab your hat and read with the Cat in the Hat! On Monday, March 3, it’s Read Across America Day with the National Education Association, so we can all celebrate our love for books and reading!

* In Honolulu: On Monday, March 3 @ 11 am, young children can go to a free Read Across America storytime at Barnes and Noble, Ala Moana Center, featuring the book “Green Eggs and Ham.”

As parents and teachers, we can set a good example as a reader. Let children see us reading every day, whether it’s a book, magazine, or newspaper. In addition to taking kids to the library and bookstore, we can also give kids a subscription to a magazine – my 7-year old son loves receiving the free LEGO Club Jr. Magazine in the mail, and excited to read the comics and do the puzzles.

If you’re looking for book inspiration, check out a booklist that highlights books about each of the 50 states, as well as an Asian American booklist. My son enjoyed reading “Kimo’s Surfing Lesson” by Kerry Germain, where Kimo teaches his cousin Katie how to surf; and “Lin Yi’s Lantern” by Brenda Williams, where Lin Yi goes to the market to buy food for the Moon Festival.

For teachers, offers an updated “Hats Off to Reading” Classroom Activity Guide, with suggested books and activities, a birthday card, and a reading certificate. Reading Rockets has more Read Across America resources.

Read Across America is sponsored by Renaissance Dental, which is promoting good oral health with National Children’s Dental Health Month in March. Help kids practice good dental habits with an oral activity book, a brushing and reading log, and activity sheets. 

Later this week, on March 6, the United Kingdom is celebrating World Book Day. It’s a day to encourage children to read books by giving them a book of their own. Children are given £1 Book Tokens, which they can use at participating booksellers for free books. They have also put together a list of 20 failsafe activities, like holding a book swap, performing a story, inviting a local author, and having a book character parade.

What are you reading now? Where will a book take you today?

Read Across America 2013

March 1, 2013

Read Across America

March 1 is the 16th annual Read Across America Day, sponsored by the National Education Association. This year’s theme is “Grab your Hat and Read with the Cat!” Here are some activities you can do to celebrate reading and make books fun!

* Visit a storytime or watch “Seussical”. In Honolulu, Barnes and Noble at Kahala Mall is celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday with a “Green Eggs and Ham” storytime on March 2 @ 11 am. On Maui, Barnes and Noble in Lahaina has a storytime on March 2 @ 10 am. In Kapolei, watch a special performance of songs from the musical “Seussical” at the Kapolei Public Library at 10:30 am, by students from the Performing Arts Center of Kapolei (PACK).

* Read aloud with your children. PBS’ “Between the Lions” show has some great suggestions for reading aloud: Turn off the TV and radio. Find a quiet, comfortable space. Read slowly and with expression. Create different voices for different characters. Let kids hold the book or turn the pages. Point to words on the page and explain unfamiliar words. Ask kids questions about the story and what they liked about it.

* Make a Cat in the Hat Pop-up. You can make a Cat in the Hat Pop Up craft using a toilet paper roll, paper, crayons, and a dowel (or chopstick). “Stuff by Ash” lets us download a free template to color, cut, and paste and add some Suess-tastic excitement to our day.

* Travel across America by reading books that take place in different states. LaFayette, New York teacher Erin McQuiston and Westmoreland, Tennessee librarian Donna McCrory compiled a 50 State Booklist. Here are the books they highlight for Hawaii:“Pearl Harbor” by Deborah Hopkinson: “Under the Blood Red Sun” by Graham Salisbury; “The Broccoli Tapes” by Jan Slepian; “The Story of the U.S.S. Arizona” by Conrad Stein; and “The Last Princess: The story of Princess Ka’iulani of Hawai’i” by Fay Stanley.

* Share Read Across America bookmarks. You can never have enough books – or bookmarks! Download and print “Read Across America” bookmarks to share with family and friends. Add a special message or book recommendation on the back. Or share a “Bookmark the Facts” bookmark with kids to help them remember the books they read.

Let’s read to our children – or have them read to us – today and every day!

5 ways to Read Across America

February 28, 2012

“You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read with a child,” as Dr. Seuss said.

The National Education Association (NEA) celebrates Read Across America Day each year on or near March 2, the birthday of Dr. Seuss, to commemorate reading, learning and community. This year, the theme is “green” and showcases the Lorax books and protecting the environment.

Here are 5 things you can do to celebrate Read Across America Day:

1. Pledge to read. Join others at Read Across America who pledged to build a nation of readers, watch videos, and share your celebration ideas and photos.

2. Read to a child. Read with a child. The National Education Association has printable activities, stickers, and certificates; tips about planning a reading event; and booklists.

3. Read for your school. From February 14 to March 14, 2012, or until 150,000 books are read, We Give Books is giving away to public elementary schools across America. Each school that has 50 or more books read online on its behalf during Read for My School will be eligible to earn up to 500 free books!

4. Send an e-card to a reader. Motive others to read by sending a free e-card from Reading Rockets, created by award-winning children’s book illustrators.

5. Take a child to storytime. On Saturday, February 25 at 9 am, Target has a free Dr. Seuss Storytime Reading of “The Lorax” with fun activities. Check your local library for more storytime events.

Let’s all make a special effort to read to our children on March 2 and every day!

Reading across America – and Hawaii

March 1, 2011

Read Across America

March 2 is Read Across America Day – and Dr. Seuss’s birthday! Let’s all celebrate by reading to a child!

Did you know that just 15 minutes a day of independent reading (out loud with parents or by themselves) can expose children to over a million words every year? (Anderson, Wilson, & Fielding, 1988). Children who read at home have larger vocabularies, greater success in school, and good reading habits that can last a lifetime.

Since we’re celebrating books and the joys of reading, I thought I’d share some of the Hawaii activities and programs that encourage a life-long love of reading.

Hawaii Public Libraries ( offer free ongoing storytimes for children ages 3 and up, as well as cozy reading areas and other special events.

Bookstores Barnes & Noble ( and Borders ( offer free ongoing storytimes and special events, as well as author signings.

Read to Me International ( shares the love and joy of reading aloud. Their message is simple: “Every child in Hawaii will be read to every day for ten minutes.” This year, you can listen to them at the free Kahala Mall Toddler Times on February 16, April 16, July 6, and September 7. Schools and community events with at least 50 participants can also request a presentation.

Book It! Reading Program by Pizza Hut ( helps K-6 teachers encourage reading by setting monthly reading goals. Children can earn Pizza Award Certificates and qualify for the All-Star Reader’s Honor Roll. Ask your school to sign up for this free program!

Read Aloud America ( promotes literacy and encourages a love of reading. Schools can pay for a classroom program and 6-session family program.

Hawaii Literacy ( promotes literacy and lifelong learning. Volunteers offer adult literacy, family literacy, classroom on wheels, English as a second language, and a drop-in center.

Reading is Fundamental ( motivates young children to read. They have a network of volunteers and literacy programs in Hawaii public schools.

First Book ( provides new books to children in need. Schools and programs with at least 50% of their children from low-income families can register to buy books at a 50-90% discount. Some schools may even qualify to receive new books for free.

Dr. Seuss wrote, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Where can a book take you today? What books have inspired you? And who will you inspire by reading today?