PENNSYLVANIA, USA — The State Library of Pennsylvania invites schools, families and communities to participate in Read Across America Day on Tuesday.
The day serves as an opportunity to spread the joy of reading, celebrate literacy and recognize the power of diverse and inclusive books.
"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 in a release. “Diverse and inclusive books help readers of all ages see themselves and their neighbors in stories, and learn more about the world around them.”
Read Across America, led by the National Education Association (NEA), encourages readers of all ages to explore books, learn from the words of others and about themselves.
The NEA offers themes for each month of the year. Each theme includes a suggested book of the month for elementary, middle grade and young adult readers.
March's theme is cultivating compassion. Readers are encouraged to connect with this theme by reading stories that provide points of access for understanding other people's lives.
"They're so many great diverse authors today to choose from," said Paula Gilbert, the director of youth services for York Libraries. "Whether you're an African-American child or Hispanic child or an Indian child or from any country around the world, really. They're so many different choices that kids have to pick from today."
The National Education Association’s Read Across America website also offers 13 ways to celebrate literacy within schools and communities that are also adaptable for social distancing.
Gilbert says they're so many fun stories for children to read. She says if you have a baby or preschooler, board books are excellent for them to interact with, picture books from the works of Mo Willems, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Very Busy Spider. For children who are learning how to read by themselves, she says Monkey & Robot and chapter books are great starting points.