March 2 is Dr. Seuss’s birthday, celebrated as Read Across America Day. Here in West Haven, Connecticut, there were book sharing activities for teachers and students in grades K-12. Planning for the event began in January when the Reading Department discussed how teachers were the model readers in every building.
Because teachers are successful readers, several teachers and staff members shared their personal reading histories with students and other staff members. This sharing was most evident with a wall display at Washington Elementary School where students could “Guess which book was a childhood favorite?” Photos of teachers when they were in elementary school were paired with book covers such as The Little Prince or Go, Dog, Go!
At Bailey Middle School, teachers also shared their favorites with recommendations for students in Grades 7 & 8:
Since reading “opens doors”, teachers and students at several different elementary schools shared their favorite books together on classroom doors. The Doors of Haley Elementary School were a Pinterest-lit explosion:
While grades 5 & 6 teachers and students combined to pay tribute to Dr. Seuss and share their favorite titles on the Doors at Carrigan Intermediate School:
The day’s celebrations included other activities as well. Students at Savin Rock dressed as Dr. Seuss characters and spent time in their classrooms reading. At Pagel’s Elementary school, there was a character parade that ended in a laser light show. Forest Elementary School will be celebrating with a door contest held mid-week. Finally, at West Haven High School, 12th grade students wrote letters to 9th grade students listing the books that they would recommend to read in order to succeed.
The National Education Association (NEA) created Read Across America in order to motivate children to read. Their research has shown that children who are motivated and spend more time reading do better in school.
The photos from West Haven illustrate a high degree of motivation where teachers and students are talking about books. The day’s success was made possible through the collective efforts of teachers and students and building principals.
Thank you to all who participated in a Dr. Seuss fashion: