Read Across America with Lily Eskelsen Garcia
Reading is a habit that can spark a lifetime of learning. Now in its 21st year, Read Across America, the National Education Association’s annual reading celebration continues to build a nation of readers. “Celebrating a Nation of Diverse Readers” is this years theme. Lily Eskelsen García, president of the 3-million member National Education Association, joins us to explain how we can get involved.
For more information: nea.org/readacross and/or follow #readacrossamerica
The celebrations kick off March 1st in conjunction with
Dr. Seuss’s birthday (March 2) and National Reading Month
WHY: Reading is a habit that can spark a lifetime of learning. Now in its 21st year, Read Across America, the National Education Association’s annual reading celebration founded around Dr. Seuss’s birthday (March 2), continues to build a nation of readers.
The literary celebration is not just about one day of reading fun — Read Across America is about discovering the joys of reading and cultivating good reading habits that will last kids a lifetime. To kickoff this year’s Read Across America program and National Reading Month in March, NEA is partnering up with Reading is Fundamental and other literacy initiative programs to bring together this year’s theme come to life: “Celebrating a Nation of Diverse Readers”!
Over the past 20 years of the Read Across America program, classrooms have become broadly diverse, and educators need books that reflect the diversity of our classrooms and communities. NEA believes books should be mirrors and windows so our students can see themselves in the pages of the books they read. But just as important, NEA wants them to be able to look into the lives of characters different from themselves to gain a better understanding of the similarities we all share.
Ms. Lily Eskelsen García, president of the 3-million member National Education Association and a past Utah Teacher of the Year, provides parents with suggestions on how to diversify their reading lists with their kids:
· Recognizing Cultural Differences: Read books with them about cultures other than you own to help students recognize cultural influences all around them.
· Role Play: Ask students to put themselves in the shoes of the protagonist and ask them what it’s like to “walk in their shoes.”
· Engaging Readers: Trigger the inner civil servant in your young reader by reading with them about community service projects and then encourage them to get involved.
“NEA is excited to partner up with Reading is Fundamental to cross promote RAA and our diversity theme to reach a broad audience,” added Eskelsen García. “As educators, we know that students who read—and read a variety of books— will help them do better in school and in life.”
For the most up-to-date information on and reading resources, visit nea.org/readacross or follow #readacrossamerica and @NEAMedia on Twitter.
About NEA’s Read Across America: The National Education Association is building a nation of readers through its signature program, NEA’s Read Across America. Now in its 21st year, this year-round program focuses on motivating children and teens to read through events, partnerships, and reading resources. Since 1997, NEA’s Read Across America has attracted some of the biggest names in politics, entertainment and sports to help children discover the joy of reading. In addition to First Lady Michelle Obama, past celebrity participants have included Jessica Alba, Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver, Mehcad Brooks, Carrie Underwood, Gwyneth Paltrow, Alex Rodriguez, Serena Williams, Selena Gomez, Shaquille O’Neal and many others
About NEA: The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers. Learn more at nea.org.
Related links: NEA