Reading is a crucial and foundational skill for all future learning. Having the necessary literacy skills by the end of third grade is a strong predictor of how well a student will perform throughout their education journey. We all have a chance to contribute whether we have a student in school or not. Read Across America was launched by the National Education Association as a way to highlight the importance of literacy skills and is celebrated on Dr. Seuss’ birthday every year, March 2nd.
Read Across America is the perfect opportunity for all of us to play a crucial role in ensuring every student not only has the necessary literacy skills but also develops a love for reading. Here are three things you can do to help:
1. Volunteer To Read: Many schools, preschools, libraries, and even book stores will be hosting opportunities for community volunteers to come read to children. These opportunities will not only be held on March 2nd, but also throughout the week. The great part is that anyone can volunteer, and these opportunities usually require no more than an hour of your time. It is also a great way to learn about and get involved with schools in your neighborhood.
2. Read To A Child In Your Life: Reading a minimum of 20 minutes every day is the perfect way to develop and cultivate a child’s reading skills. You can make this time interactive and fun by acting out the story, having the child describe the pictures or by asking them to repeat words. Don’t have a child at home? Not a problem.Set-up time to read with a grandchild, niece, nephew, or a friends’ child. Consider using Skype or FaceTime if you live far apart.
3. Keep It Going: While Read Across America is celebrated for a full week, don’t let it stop there.Make reading part of your daily routine. Set monthly reading goals, take constant trips to the library where you can participate in fun activities, set a fun theme each month to can use as a guide for selecting books to read and topics to learn, or swap books with other families. Tell your friends about things you are doing to celebrate literacy and encourage them to do the same. The more we all get involved, the more we can all make a difference.
Learn more about Arizona’s reading goal, other ways to take action and what communities around Arizona are doing to build strong literacy skills.
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