Seuss Day is the culmination of a week-long celebration of Read Across America at Wanaque Elementary School. Last year the Cat in the Hat visited and their celebration was featured on NJEA’s television show, Classroom Close-Up, NJ.
It’s that time of year again! That’s right, NJEA members, it’s time to don your red and white stovepipe hats and join the nationwide celebration of reading. Monday, March 3, is Read Across America Day, and for the 16th year running, the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) is working together to promote reading and literacy through Read Across America-NJ.
Read Across America is an annual celebration of reading that culminates this year on March 3, the day after what would have been the 110th birthday of prolific children’s book author Theodor Seuss Geisel, known and loved worldwide as Dr. Seuss.
Nationwide celebration of reading
Nationwide, educators and communities are urged to take part in “Grabbing their hats and reading with the Cat.” Schools around the country will celebrate the day with reading fairs, assemblies, and other literacy-related events.
NJEA encourages community leaders to join local schools in their celebrations. All participants are invited to pay tribute to Dr. Seuss by proudly wearing an iconic red-and-white stovepipe hat, the symbol of his signature character, the Cat in the Hat. NJEA is proud to support NEA’s continued partnership with Smilemakers, a Staples company, for all Dr. Seuss-related items where a percentage of the profits from Read Across America sales will be donated to benefit the NEA's literacy program.
“NJEA is proud to continue our long-standing tradition of supporting Read Across America,” said NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer. “It continues to be one of our most popular programs of the year, and I know firsthand that our members are dedicated to enhancing childhood literacy in creative and innovative ways.”
NJEA has made a major investment in Read Across America and each year that commitment grows. This year, NJEA’s thematic approach is rooted in the beloved Seuss book, The Sneetches and Other Stories, a collection of four short stories by the acclaimed author. Published in August, 1961, this book was named one of the Teachers’ Top 100 Books for Children in a 2007 NEA poll and one of the Top 100 Picture Books of all time in a 2012 poll by School Library Journal.
In addition, thanks to NJEA’s ongoing passion to support childhood literacy in exciting ways, retired educators will again travel across the state in February and March dressed in seven-foot-tall professional Cat in the Hat costumes. They will visit hundreds of schools, bringing the literacy message to thousands of students. For the fourth year running, the Cat will gift the library of each school he visits. This year, each school will receive a copy of The Sneetches and Other Stories for students to enjoy.
Along the way, the Cat will encounter the many creative ways that schools celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday, including everything from read-ins and pajama parties to reading extravaganzas featuring politicians, pundits, sports celebrities, and stars of television and movies.
While the benefits of encouraging children and families to read are obvious, programs like Read Across America offer an excellent opportunity for public officials to build on their relationships with the community.
“When children see their parents and community leaders taking the time to read to them, it provides the inspiration that our children need to develop a life-long love of reading,” Steinhauer stated. “Participating in Read Across America is a terrific way to let the kid in all of us rediscover the joys and adventures that books can bring.”
So, what are you waiting for? This March, plan to grab your hat and read with the Cat! After all, in the words of the late Dr. Seuss, “You're never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child!”