Read Across America Day
This observance encourages reading, especially with children. It is commemorated on March 2, which is Dr. Seuss’s birthday. While the holiday aims to encourage reading with people of all ages, it is targeted toward young people. Schools and libraries will hold events to promote reading and literacy, including book fairs, reading pledges, and other observances.
The holiday was established by the National Education Association, an education group made up of teachers, administrators, and others passionate about education, who felt that there should be a national day to encourage reading. On March 2, 1998, the United States observed the first Read Across America Day.
About Dr. Seuss
Read Across America Day takes place on the birthday of Dr. Seuss, one of the best known children’s book writers and illustrators. Of German descent, Seuss was born Theodor Seuss Geisel in Massachusetts, choosing to write under his middle name. Seuss was not actually a doctor. After graduating from Dartmouth and dropping out of Oxford after meeting his wife, Seuss first supported himself through advertisement illustration. After being rejected 27 times, he published his first book, And to Think That I saw It on Mulberry Street.
He went on to produce 46 children’s books, beloved for their imaginative and whimsical themes and cartoons. The books were written in order to help children learn how to read, utilizing rhyme. His best known books include Green Eggs and Ham, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, The Cat in the Hat, Horton Hears a Who, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas!