While poetry jams, community readers, games and parties have been happening across California as millions celebrate Read Across America, a national year-long celebration of reading sponsored by the National Education Association and California Teachers Association (CTA), more local students got in on the fun this year as books by perennial favorite Dr. Seuss were read in local elementary and middle school classrooms.

Adults from the community, including city leadership, first responders, and a whole host of others, volunteered their time to read from the good Doctor’s works. Generations have enjoyed Seuss’s books; it would be tough to imagine anyone else whose work has done more to help young readers gain reading skill and confidence.

“Reading skills really last a lifetime and are the cornerstone of all learning,” said Eric Heins, president of the 325,000-member California Teachers Association. “Adults reading to students and modeling reading for our children is a great way to encourage reading. That’s why we’re including adults in our reading adventures this year, too.” Heins recommends adults take the “Reading Challenge” and post to their social media channels using the hashtag #IAmReading their favorite reads, be it personal or professional books.

Meanwhile, community members will be reading to students in classrooms from Palm Springs to Eureka. Association of Calexico Teachers (ACT) hosted an all-community Read Across America event, with some 60 teachers coordinating activities ranging from reading books to making crafts. Kings Canyon Teachers Association member Jonathan Chakerian brings in Reedley police and firefighters to read to students. This year a baker helped teach measurements. Elected local and state officials, news reporters, community college and high school students, and various community members read to students and shared their love of reading by reading to students.

CTA’s California Reads site includes outstanding books and tips on how to make children better readers in eight languages. Get the full story about California Reads, reading tips, plus a Read Across America poster, bookmarks, and this year’s highlighted books, at www.cta.org/raa.

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