Read Across America Week is celebrated from March 2 to 6 — it begins on the birthday of the beloved author, Dr. Seuss. The entire month of March, in fact, is dedicated to reading. The National Education Association (N.E.A.) aims to encourage reading and educate people about its benefits, especially among children and young adults. Events are organized across the nation by schools and organizations to promote the same.
History of Read Across America Week
The act of reading has been around for thousands of years, since the invention of the written word. In the earliest years, reading was a skill that only a wealthy, educated segment of society had. Over time, more and more people learned to read and write, and reading came to be the common skill that it is today.
Since the first book that was ever written, many authors have made their mark and been remembered for their remarkable work. One such author is Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known by his pen name, Dr. Seuss. He has authored some of the most popular children’s books of all time, selling over 600 million copies.
In addition to being an author, Dr. Seuss was also an illustrator and cartoonist. After publishing his first children’s book, he took a break to illustrate political cartoons and joined the animation and film department in the United States Army. In this role, he wrote, produced and animated several projects and gained recognition for them. Following this, he returned to writing children’s books and how! He went on to write 60 books, a majority of which were critically acclaimed. His work is not only enjoyed by children to this date; it is also a part of many different adaptations in other mediums.
The National Education Association launched Read Across America in 1998 as a year-round program to celebrate reading. Given Dr. Seuss’ impact on the reading world, his birthday (March 2) was declared Read Across America Day. This also commences Read Across America Week and Read Across America Month.
Read Across America Week timeline
The written word is invented, and so is reading.
Dr. Seuss is born on March 2.
He publishes his first children’s book, “And to Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street."
The N.E.A. launches the Read Across America program.
Read Across America Week FAQs
What is the purpose of Read Across America Week?
Read Across America Week is a part of a bigger program, which aims to promote reading through events and partnerships among children and teens across the nation.
Is there a Dr. Seuss Day?
Dr. Seuss is celebrated nationwide on his birthday, March 2, as Read Across America Day.
How do I find books?
You can borrow from friends and family, go to your local library, or even visit N.E.A.’s website for a collection of free resources to find books.
Read Across America Week Activities
This one is a no-brainer. There is no better way to celebrate Read Across America Week than to read a book. Whether it is a classic you’ve been waiting to get to, or a self-help book recommended by a friend, grab a book and read!
Remember Dr. Seuss
Dr. Seuss has made remarkable contributions to the world of reading. Pick up one of his books during Read Across America Week. You could even watch an on-screen adaptation of his work, or even a live Broadway musical! He has given something for everyone.
Participate in Read Across America
During this week, numerous events are organized across the nation to promote reading among children. Attend, or get your children to attend, if you can. You could even volunteer at or host your own reading event to celebrate.
5 Interesting Facts About Dr. Seuss That You Should Know
His friend bet that he couldn't write a book using 50 words, and that’s how “Green Eggs and Ham” came to be.
Dr. Seuss in the hat
Whenever he had writer’s block, he put on one of his funky hats to get the creativity flowing.
It’s in the genes
Dr. Seuss credited his mother for a lot of his rhymes.
He was underestimated
Dr. Seuss was voted “least likely to succeed” by his college classmates.
Not just for children
He even wrote two adult books, one of which included nude drawings.
Why We Love Read Across America Week
Reading is awesome
Reading is an activity that has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for fiction or self-help, knowledge about a certain topic, or just a good time; there is a book for everything. Read Across America promotes reading to young children and helps in developing a good habit at an early stage.
Reading is healthy
Among reading’s many benefits are the innumerable health benefits provided by it. Reading improves brain activity, aids sleep readiness, and reduces stress. Reading can lower your blood pressure and heart rate, and can even fight symptoms of depression. Reading regularly slows down our cognition from aging.
Reading makes you smarter
Reading, of any kind, increases vocabulary and comprehension skills. It drastically increases our knowledge on various topics and makes us more intelligent. Reading stimulates the brain, improves our memory, and even makes us better writers. Read Across America Week is a great effort to promote reading.
Read Across America Week dates