The Countdown to NEA's Read Across America 2014 Has Begun!

In Bakersfield, Calif., Bakersfield Elementary Teachers Association president Michelle Johnson is planning a reading block party featuring storybook characters and book giveaways. In Sioux City, Iowa, NEA-Retired member Sue Wiele is dusting off her favorite Sam I Am costume. And in Louisiana, NEA Education Support Professional member Ruthie Wright is rounding up her merry cast of reading volunteers.

The nation’s largest reading party, NEA’s Read Across America Day, happens March 3. Across the country, NEA members are busy decorating classroom doors, planning green eggs and ham breakfasts, and organizing reading pep rallies and flash mobs.

For the second year in a row, Read Across America will highlight the importance of oral health and the connection between oral health and literacy, thanks to national sponsor and dental benefits provider Renaissance Dental. Poor oral health is a leading cause of absenteeism in schools, causing students to lose millions of hours in critical reading instruction.

Read Across America offers new posters, tips, and resources on oral health and reading at nea.org/readacross. Students can take a reading and brushing oath during Read Across America events, and Delta Dental will sponsor the two- week Cat-a-Van reading tour, which will travel to Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and other locations.

For many students and educators, the star of the reading show is still Dr. Seuss. His whimsical books and colorful characters lie at the heart of many fun-filled Read Across America celebrations and reading challenges. Dr. Seuss would have turned 110 this year, and as millions of students and educators share their love of books, they’ll also tip their red-and-white stovepipe hat to the reading pioneer.

If you’re just getting started, there’s still time and many resources to make your Read Across America event Seussational. Check out the new Read Across America posters, certificates, proclamations, and bookmarks at nea.org/readacross. You’ll also find links to the Read Across America Pinterest page, SchoolTube channel and YouTube videos, and partners providing free and inexpen-sive books for your events.

The countdown to the March 3 Read Across America Day has begun, and it’s time to “Seuss” the day and get ready to read. Download the  new Read Across America poster for  your school or classroom. And for the first time, NEA’s Read Across America offers a new tablet and mobile app, connecting you with the Read Across America literacy calendar and program resources. It’s NEA’s way to help members promote reading all year long.