March 2 is National Read Across America Day, a day to celebrate our favorite activity. The day was established by the National Education Association (NEA) in 1998 to help get kids excited about reading. The day occurs each year on the birthday of beloved children’s book author Dr. Seuss, so a perfect way to celebrate is to don a Seussian hat and read one his famous tales, like One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. On National Read Across America Day, students, teachers, parents, and community members around the nation come together to read books and celebrate the joy of reading — join us!
Why We Love Reading (and National Read Across America Day)
A. Reading is exciting
Reading takes us to exciting new places, enchanted lands, and even faraway galaxies. When we read, we can be detectives, explorers, and heroes. Ever stayed up late to finish a book by flashlight under your covers? Or missed your bus stop because you were so engrossed in a chapter? Reading adds excitement to our lives!
B. Reading makes us smarter
Did you know that reading actually increases your brain power? It’s true! Regular reading can slow the decline of memory and brain function that comes with age. And of course, as Dr. Seuss says, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
C. Reading is relaxing
Even reading for just six minutes can reduce stress, according to research. In fact, reading is more calming than listening to music or going on a walk! Curling up with a good book and cup of tea (or another favorite beverage) is one of life’s great joys — and relaxers.
How to Celebrate National Read Across America Day
1. Make a date with a book
When you have a good book, you’re never alone. Celebrate National Read Across America day by taking your favorite book for a coffee, glass of wine, or even out to dinner. Sit at the bar or at a table for two and get lost in your book while out in public.
2. Go to a reading
Groups around the country host readings on National Read Across America day. Check out what your local libraries and bookstores have on offer, and if you have kids, see what their schools are planning. Some events may be looking for volunteers to read out loud to kids — what a treat (and a gift).
3. Have a birthday party for Dr. Seuss
Invite friends over to celebrate Dr. Seuss and reading! Have Seuss-themed snacks — butter-side down toast, green eggs and ham — and have friends read selections from their favorite Seuss books.
Favorite Reading Resources
National Education Association — NEA
Check out the organization that started it all!
Great Read-Alouds From The New York Times — The New York Times
To celebrate National Read Across America Day, the New York Times compiled a collection of great stories to read aloud.
80 Books Every Person Should Read — Esquire
Need a new book and out of ideas? This list has got your back.