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You're Never "Too Old, Too Wacky, Too Wild" to Read

Some 45 million kids and adults in the U.S. will participate in Read Across America Day.(K.W. Barrett/Flickr)
Some 45 million kids and adults in the U.S. will participate in Read Across America Day.
(K.W. Barrett/Flickr)
March 2, 2018

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Read Across America Day is held annually on March 2nd to coincide with the birthday of the author known around the world as Dr. Seuss. And in the past 20 years, the observance has grown beyond 'Green Eggs and Ham.'

Schools and libraries across Kentucky hold special events Thursday to celebrate the joy of reading. Charles Main, communications director with the Kentucky Education Association, says encouraging kids to pick up a book can help create a lifelong love of reading.

"Older kids, you know lots of things compete with their attention for time with reading” says Main. “And so, the idea is to remind kids at all ages that you're never 'too old, too wacky, too wild,' to pick up a book and read with a child."

Research shows students who read more at home are better readers and have higher math scores, but it also shows that most kids read less for fun as they get older. The initial focus of Read Across America Day was on books for beginning readers, but events have expanded to include older students.

President of the National Education Association Lily Eskelsen Garcia says her organization is also turning its attention to creating a nation of diverse readers.

"We want to give our students a broad, broad brush of the cultures out there, the richness of our communities,” she says. “We want to make sure every student can see himself or herself reflected in some of the books that they read."

An estimated 45 million people nationwide will participate in Read Across America Day. In Kentucky, Main says there are family literacy nights, book clubs, reading parties and community outreach events.

"A great many Kentucky Education Association locals spend all year collecting books to donate to school libraries and to schools with students who come from areas of poverty, so that they can have new books every year," says Main.

March is National Reading Month, and Main suggests that reading be celebrated every day of the year.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - KY