If you’ve seen the Little Free Library boxes at all our Sipipa locations, it should come as no surprise that we love books and encourage reading. But today is an extra special day for reading for two reasons. First, the National Education Association (NEA) annually celebrates “Read Across America” Day on March 2. Also, it’s the birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel — Dr. Seuss — the beloved children’s author.
Read Across America is an awareness program urging children to embrace reading. Now in its 20th year, this year-round program focuses on motivating children and teens to read and brings extra excitement to reading through events and partnerships. NEA also provides its 3.2 million members, plus countless other parents, teachers and children, the resources and activities they need to keep reading on the calendar 365 days a year.
Motivating with Purpose
In May 1997, a small reading task force within NEA had a big idea to create a day specifically to celebrate reading. They compared it to host pep rallies to get kids excited about football, and wanted to do something just as energizing to engage and energize readers. It quickly became the largest celebration of reading this country has ever seen.
According to the NEA, “Motivating children to read is an important factor in student achievement and creating lifelong successful readers.” Research has proven that motivated children spend more time reading and do better in school.
What Should Students Read Next?
There are so many great books for students of all ages to dive into, from classics and traditional favorites such a “Lord of the Flies” and “A Wrinkle in Time,” to series such as “The Magic Treehouse” and Harry Potter.
NEA members across the country were asked to share their recommendations of what students should add to their reading lists, and here were their suggestions:
- What Pet Should I Get? by Dr. Seuss
- Actual Size by Steve Jenkins
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
- STELLALUNA by Janell Cannon
- Pigeon series by Mo Willems
- Llama, Llama series by Anna Dewdney
- Who Would Win series by Jerry Pallotta and Rob Bolster
- Eyewitness series by various authors
- Brian’s Song by William Blinn
- Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash by Edward Humes
- Warriors Don’t Cry by Melba Pattillo Beals
- The Stranger Next Door by Peg Kehret
- Joe Ledger by Jonathan Maberry
- Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
- Pete the Cat by Eric Litwin
- Shark vs. Train by Tom Lichtenheld and Chris Barton
- Abiyoyo by Pete Seeger
High School/Young Adult
- We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
- Endurance by Alfred Lansing
- Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
- Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
- The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
- We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach