Happy Read Across America Day!
What is Read Across America?
Read Across America is an initiative by the National Education Association that is building a nation of readers. Though it’s a year-round program, we celebrate as a nation on the anniversary of the birthday of Dr. Seuss, which happens to be today – March 2nd! This year, Read Across America is celebrating 20 years of reading.
“You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read with a child.”
The Importance of Reading with your Children
Reading to your children is so important. In addition to building a stronger parent/child relationship, reading to your children helps with early speech skills, communication with others, and logical thinking. According to Begin to Read, even today in the United States one in four children grows up not knowing how to read. This statistic alone is strongly correlated with a child’s future. The Department of Justice notes, “The link between academic failure and delinquency, violence, and crime is welded to reading failure. It is estimated that over 70% of US prison inmates cannot read above a 4th-grade reading level.”
Five Excellent Read-Aloud Books for the Whole Family
The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss:
A classic book to commemorate Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Richmond’s very own NBC12 Meteorologist Andrew Frieden recently posted a video of himself reading The Cat in the Hat for you to share with your kids! If you have a copy of the book, make sure your kids follow along! Many celebrities and public figures have participated in Read Across America Day throughout the years. A simple YouTube search might help you find your favorites!
The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak:
This book is equally entertaining for children and adults! The Book with No Pictures is exactly what it says, a book with no pictures. The premise is to get the reader to read aloud funny made-up and silly words because readers “have to read what is on the page.” There is even a video of B.J. Novak reading his debut children’s book to an elementary school. My kids love this book, and the creative made-up vocabulary that it includes really helps with letter sounds and pronunciations. This well-loved story has a sequel coming out this fall!
Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin:
An adorable book about how to throw a taco party for some dragons! (Spoiler alert: beware of the spicy salsa!) This delightful New York Times Bestseller will likely leave you craving tacos.
Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson:
Johnson may have published this book over 62 years ago, but the message still holds strong. With one crayon and a blank canvas, the world can be anything we make it. Head on over to Totschooling for some free Harold tracing activities!
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt:
Speaking of crayons, what if we could see the world through the eyes of a crayon? In this funny story, a young boy only wants to color, but instead of crayons he finds various letters from the crayons explaining why they quit. This adorable story continues on with The Day the Crayons Came Home, which also features a meditation on why life without their boy isn’t so great for the crayons.
Set Reading Goals
Educators suggest that we read with our children for 20 minutes per day. This can include reading to your child, having your child read to you, and talking about the content of the story and illustrations.
We live in a busy world, but these 20 minutes are really important. And if you have four children, make it a family affair! One-on-one time is important, but reading 80 minutes a day might not be a realistic goal. Find a reading time that works for your family, and make it fun!
What are you reading to your children today?