State Library Encourages Readers To Celebrate Literacy, Participate In Read Across America Day

The State Library of Pennsylvania invites schools, families, and communities to participate in Read Across America Day, an event held annually on March 2 that serves as an opportunity to spread the joy of reading, celebrate literacy, and recognize the power of diverse and inclusive books.

Led by the National Education Association (NEA) Read Across America encourages readers of all ages to explore books, learn from the voices of others, and discover their own voices on March 2 and throughout the year.

“Read Across America helps shine a spotlight on the lifelong value and importance of literacy,” said Glenn Miller, the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Deputy Secretary and Commissioner for Libraries. “Diverse and inclusive books help readers of all ages see themselves and their neighbors in stories, and learn more about the world around them.”

Need help finding a good book (or three)? “Whether in-person or virtually, your local librarian can help you find great titles to read, share, learn from, and discuss on Read Across America Day and every day,” added Miller.

From fostering inclusiveness, to exploring identity, to cultivating compassion, and more, the NEA offers themes for each month of the year that helps make Read Across America Day a yearlong event. Each theme includes a suggested book of the month for elementary, middle grade, and young adult readers.

“When we make time to read with kids, whether on NEA’s Read Across America Day or any other day – children get the message that reading is important. When we read books that have characters of all races, genders, abilities, and backgrounds, students discover their own voices and learn from the voices of others,” said NEA President Becky Pringle, a Philadelphia native and former teacher in the Susquehanna Township School District. “If we are going to create more readers, more writers, people who feel included and recognized, and people who understand that the world is far richer than just their experiences alone, kids need books that are as diverse and complex as the society in which we live.

The National Education Association’s Read Across America website offers book recommendations, reading tips for caregivers, teaching resources, and more. The association also offers 13 ways to celebrate literacy within schools and communities that can be adapted for socially distanced readers.

“Let’s celebrate a nation of diverse readers not only on Read Across America Day but all year long,” added Pringle. “Together, we can make lifelong readers of kids in our lives by continuing to read diverse and inclusive books in the months to come.”