Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Students and Teachers Rev Up For NEA’s Read Across America Day

Macomb Township, MI - Let's all join together on March 2nd, and every day thereafter, to ensure that our community's children have caring adults to share books and rich reading experiences. The teachers of Iroquois Middle School and the Chippewa Valley Education Association appreciate what parents and community members have done to celebrate the National Education Association's (NEA) Read Across America Day to encourage children to pick up a book and read.

To get kids excited about reading and encourage more adults to spend time reading with their children, the NEA launched the first Read Across America Day in 1998. On March 2nd, NEA's Read Across America Day will mark nineteen years of promoting literacy and the 112th birthday of Theodore Geisel who is also known as Dr. Seuss. This is a year-round literacy project that encourages readers, both young and old, to celebrate the importance of reading.

We encourage EVERYONE to embrace this event and read to a child. If you've ever shared a book with a child, you know the joy and excitement this small but meaningful act can bring. However, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, since 1993 only 53 to 58 percent of children ages three to five received this joy on a daily basis. We can do better!

Simply reading daily with a child does require parents, older brothers and sisters, and other caring adults to add yet another hat to the many they already wear to care for and raise a child. By adding the reading hat to your collection, you also add great rewards.

Children who are read to at home have a higher success rate in school, and children who read frequently develop stronger reading skills. A child’s ability to read has a direct effect on their future success. Reading with your child helps to increase their vocabulary and improves their reading fluency and comprehension.

From coast to coast, teachers, celebrities, community members, and parents are putting aside the many hats they wear for work and play and donning their reading hats, the red and white striped stovepipe hat of the Cat in the Hat. Here in our community, we promote NEA's Read Across America Day and how it supports raising a community of readers. Students in Macomb Township will join millions of their peers across the country to celebrate the joys of reading.

In bringing a nation of readers’ together under one hat, NEA's Read Across America offers opportunities for you to volunteer, to read, and to share your life experiences. There are opportunities for businesses to contribute products to congratulate young readers and for employees to volunteer time at reading programs. There are opportunities for our elected officials, from the national to the state and local levels, to make reading a high priority.

As a 7th Science Teacher at Iroquois Middle School and member of the National Education Association, I encourage EVERONE to be a part of the reading excitement! Get involved in supporting children's literacy in our community:
1. Since this NEA supported endeavor is designed to put every child in the company of a book, take the opportunity to read and enjoy! Read to a child in your life.
2. Help set a good example. Contact a local preschool or Head Start program and volunteer with your child to share a story with younger children.
3. Bring children to your public library. From story hours for toddlers to career planning for teens, the library has something for everyone.
4. Make sure those who are in need have plenty to read. Donate books to libraries, hospitals, and homeless shelters. Call ahead to see what is needed.
5. Resolve to make March 2nd the first of many days you volunteer to read at a school, afterschool program, community center, library, or daycare facility. You can make a difference to future generations of readers.

For more information on NEA’s Read Across America Day, please visit www.nea.org/readacross or www.readacrossamerica.org.  

The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, college faculty, school administrators, education support professionals, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.