Read Across America Day, March 2, marks the birthday of Dr Seuss. Created by the National Education Association in 1998, this exciting event brings together young people and books, right across the United States.
Read on to see how you can get involved:
It’s also an opportunity for the library to show off the range of resources it offers, and use these to bring young people in. The library plays a unique and central role in fostering a love of reading and learning. Its place is right at the very heart of the local community, for all the family.
So it’s time to celebrate the value of reading – and have some fun too. If you haven’t already got some ideas up your sleeve, here are a few suggestions on how to make the most of March 2. Follow these tips and use your school library subscriptions and resources to make it a truly memorable day for everyone involved.
1. Hold a story time – it may seem obvious but it’s always popular. Children love it, and you could encourage them to go to the shelves and choose a book for everyone to share in.
2. Host a book club or reading group. Put up posters announcing it, asking young people to send in their suggestions. Then, take a vote on the most popular choice. You could hold several sessions, for different age groups.
3. Use books and magazines to teach new skills. Choose a cookbook together, read some recipes and plan some meals or some cookie decorating. You could do the same thing for gardening or crafts.
4. Foster a love of nature. Find books and children’s magazines on wildlife, or on flowers and trees. Use these to build an exciting day out to go discover the real thing.
5. Research a subject. Whether it’s science, history or art, you name it, there’s something there to catch the imagination. Once you’ve sown a seed of interest, a lifetime’s passion could grow out of this.
6. Host a crafts session. Amongst your school library subscriptions you’re sure to find some useful resources to help this along its way. The library is about doing, as well as about reading and listening.
7. Is there a children’s author local to you? Ask them to come along to the library and read from one of their books. It’ll bring in the crowds.
8. Explore a new culture. There are a huge range of books and magazines on travel and foreign cultures. Losing yourselves in this imaginary world is the next best thing to getting on a plane to the real place.
9. Get creative with some drawing tables, or some music sessions. Involving children in activities together helps them learn to share, and to enjoy playing and learning together.
10. Make use of your library’s computers. Offer some early computer literacy classes, and give your local children a head start.
Need more ideas?
If you get it right, you’ll find young people of all ages return to the library year round, not just on Dr Seuss Day. And hopefully for life. That’s what Dr Seuss Day is all about – showing young people how reading opens exciting new doors to a wealth of interesting and fun activities.
Put your library subscriptions, books and resources to good use on Dr Seuss Day. Maybe you’ve got some great experiences from your library to share – if so, we’d love to hear from you! [insert link to email?]