What is National Read Across America Day?
Started in 1997 by the National Education Association, Read Across America Day has become an annual event to celebrate and inspire young readers to pick up a book and read.
It’s fitting that this national reading initiative is celebrated on the birthday of one of the world’s most beloved writers of children’s books, Theodor Seuss Geisel.
You probably know him as Dr. Seuss!
OH, THE PLACES YOU'LL GO!
THERE IS FUN TO BE DONE! THERE ARE
POINTS TO BE SCORED. THERE ARE GAMES TO BE WON.
~ from: Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
What Literacy Tells Us About Ourselves
If you’re reading this, you’re one of the lucky ones.
32 million Americans cannot read!
You may look around and not notice, but this simple act that we perform every day, without giving it much thought, actually has a significant impact on the lives of those who don’t possess the ability to understand the written or printed English language.
Here’s what the lives of those who cannot read look like:
- Children who cannot read proficiently by the 4th grade are 67% more likely to end up in jail or on welfare.
- Students who don’t learn to read by the 3rd grade are 4 times likelier to drop out of high school.
- As of 2011, America was the only free-market OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) country where the current generation was less educated than the previous one.
- Teenage girls between the ages of 16 to 19 who live at or below the poverty line and have below average literacy skills are 6 times more likely to have children out of wedlock than girls their age who can read proficiently.
Literacy doesn’t seem to be that important of a skill...unless, of course, you don’t have it!
Reading with your kids is a simple, free action that you can easily take to help ensure that your child has the best possible chance of success as they enter adulthood.
Celebrating Handwriting as a Way To Improve Reading Ability
What’s even more amazing is the close connection between handwriting and reading ability.
The more technology abounds in classrooms across the US, there are those questioning the efficacy of teaching handwriting. But recent research into the art of handwriting is showing just how interconnected these two skills are.
As educators ourselves, Robin and I (R&B Printery) understand the importance of the handwritten note. A simple handwritten note has the power to connect us, inspire us, and build more connected relationships compared to electronic forms of communication.
The act of reading and writing a handwritten note:
- heightens brain activity
- increases standardized test scores
- enhances fine motor development
- improves our ability to focus
But together, we’re making a difference. With your help, we donate 10% of all profits to supporting literacy development in children, youth and adults.
How Your Family Can Celebrate Read Across America Day
When you’re writing, you’re reading.
March 2nd is a great opportunity for you to engage your imagination and creativity. Write a handwritten note to a friend or loved one. Go get that book you’ve been thinking about. Read a bedtime story with your children.
When you’re inspired, you inspire others!
There are also a lot of wonderful resources for Read Across America Day on the official Seussville website.
Happy reading… and writing!
Flickr creative commons image courtesy of Thomas Leuthard.
Literacy statistics provided by DoSomething.org in their article “11 Facts About Literacy in America”.