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    Read Across America: Celebrating a Nation of Diverse Readers
    Posted on 02/28/2019
    Students reading in a school library

    Seattle Public Schools Prepares for Read Across America Day

    Each year across the country, thousands of schools, libraries, and communities participate in a national celebration of reading known as Read Across America Day. The National Education Association (NEA) began the annual reading motivation and awareness program March 2, 1998 on the birthday of children’s author Dr. Seuss.

    Over the years, schools across the district have created robust celebrations of literacy in partnership with communities, families, and students. Historically, the day has been accompanied with lessons influenced by works of Dr. Seuss, books such as “The Cat and the Hat” and “Green Eggs and Ham.” However, in recent years, Seuss’ classics have become controversial, as his illustrations and content have been shown to employ racist themes and ideologies.

    In light of this, the NEA has rebranded Read Across America Day, introducing a new theme of highlighting works by and about people of color. As the district gears up for this year’s observance on Fri., March 1, the community is invited to celebrate the national theme “Read Across America: Celebrating a Nation of Diverse Readers.” This year’s theme reflects an ongoing movement to increase culturally diverse and reflective reading materials for all students.

    In line with the district’s commitment to ensuring educational and racial equity, we recognize and celebrate the wealth of diversity of our community and are working towards our goals of racial equity and the love of literacy.

    Teacher-Librarians provide ongoing learning opportunities for students by recommending diverse books and activities that reflect the wide range of students’ lived experiences. Many Seattle Public Schools teacher-librarians are leading the national Dia! Celebration on Tues., April 30 to promote literacy for all learners in our classrooms. Read more about Dia! on the Association for Library Service to Children website.

    Resources for NEA’s Read Across America Day

    Resources for historical context on children’s author Dr. Seuss

    Resources have been provided through a collaborative effort of Seattle Public Schools’ Department for Racial Equity Advancement and the Seattle Education Association (SEA) Center for Racial Equity.

    Learn more about Ethnic Studies in Seattle Public Schools.