By Molly “M.E.O.W.” Naaktgeboren, Staff Writer
The National Education Association (NEA), in partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, created Read Across America Day on March 2, 1997 to promote the joys and importance of reading and to celebrate the birthday of on Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel).
Did you ever wonder why you always see so many Cat in the Hats during March?
This year marked the 18th annual Read Across America Day, which portrays the message of being a lifelong learner and promotes STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math).
From Texas to New Orleans, the Cat-a-Van (a touring book mobile) traveled all over the country bringing fun, hats and other incentives to get students into reading. In an age where “teaching to the test” has become the norm, creativity and fun have taken a backseat instead of being important for educators to embody in their careers.
Every year, the program encourages thousands of students to pick up a book and share a story or adventure.
I have personally been a part of the nationwide initiative to interest children in reading. During my elementary days we called it a read-around. Students picked three teachers and their stories to go to. I always went to “Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse” because my favorite teacher read the book. You know the kind of teacher who is animated, loves teaching and inspires you to eat those vegetables that you don’t like. I have never forgotten how this event touched my life and my love of books.
This one day each year is a service to all readers in the world. No matter who you are, there is something about Dr. Seuss that inspires the silly in people and gives us hope that magic still exists in reading.
Feature image: New Mexico PTA
Article image: National Education Association