March is National Reading Month!

We love reading because:

Reading is exciting

  • Reading takes us to unfamiliar places, enchanted lands, and even faraway galaxies. When we read, we can be detectives, explorers, and heroes. Ever stayed up late to finish a book by flashlight under your covers? Or missed your bus stop because you were so engrossed in a chapter? Reading adds excitement to our lives!

Reading makes us smarter

  • Did you know that reading increases your brain power? It is true! Regular reading can slow the decline of memory and brain function that comes with age. And of course, as Dr. Seuss says, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

Reading is relaxing

  • Even reading for just six minutes can reduce stress, according to research. In fact, reading is more calming than listening to music or going on a walk! Curling up with a good book and cup of tea (or another favorite beverage) is one of life’s great joys — and relaxers.

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”- Dr. Seuss

Every year, the month of March is National Reading Month. The start of this is initiated with ‘Read Across America Day’ on March 2, which is also the birthday of one of the most beloved children’s book authors of all time — Dr. Seuss. Reading stories and antics about his wonderful characters is a rite of passage, and the perfect way to get children interested in reading books.

Read Across America Day is more so a reading program, which calls upon everyone to read and engage with children to make reading a more fun and interactive experience. From the time when the building blocks of our character are laid, to adulthood when we seek to escape from the humdrum of daily life in the pages of a book, reading plays an integral role in shaping us into who we are. With the advent of smartphones and tablets, it is more essential than ever to motivate children to read.

The National Education Association (NEA) has been leading the Read Across America initiative since 1998. Their primary purpose is to work for the betterment of public education. Reading has been promoted across the nation with events organized in libraries, schools, book clubs, and communities. Teachers and group organizers can also take a pledge and post their idea on the NEA’s website. This way, more attention and attendance are drawn to the event.

But it is not only teachers and librarians who are doing their part in creating another generation of readers, but celebrities as well. Ever since the day has been official, actors, sports stars, and other popular figures have used their platforms to spread the message of the joys of reading, and some have also participated in children reading circles to put a spotlight on this cause.

NEA has found new and exciting ways to inspire readers with all kinds of stories, the art of storytelling, and authors and poets who tell stories well. Each month NEA posts recommended books, plus suggestions for discussions and activities. For the month of March readers are encouraged to Play with Stories. The Elementary grade suggestion is:

Jump at the Sun: The True Life Tale of an Unstoppable Storycatcher by Zora Neale Hurston

Middle Grade suggestion:  We Belong

Young Adult suggestion: With a Star in my Hand: Ruben Dario, Poetry Hero

Reading parties are hosted at homes, schools, and libraries. Local persons of interest or celebrities are sometimes present at these events. Alongside reading, tasty treats are served, mostly from books that are going to be read out on the day (like a variation of green eggs and ham). Book clubs are also started on this day to continue the reading tradition after the day is over. It is a great way for parents and children to socialize and share ideas and their favorite books.

Activities You Might Like to Do:

  1. Make a date with a book – When you have a good book, you’re never alone. Celebrate National Reading Month by taking your favorite book for a coffee, or even out to dinner. Sit at a table for two and get lost in your book.
  2. Go to a reading – Check out what your local libraries and bookstores have on offer, and if you have kids, see what their schools are planning. Some events may be looking for volunteers to read aloud to kids – what a treat!



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