It’s that time of year again! That’s right, NJEA members, it’s time to don your red and white stovepipe hats and join the nationwide celebration of reading.  Friday, March 2, is Read Across America Day, and for the 18th year running, the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) is working to promote reading and literacy through Read Across America-NJ.

Read Across America is an annual celebration of reading that culminates this year on March 2, the day after what would have been the 114th birthday of prolific children’s book author Theodor Seuss Geisel, known and loved worldwide as Dr. Seuss.

Nationwide celebration of reading

Nationwide, educators and communities are urged to take part in “grabbing their hats and reading with the Cat” and show children how to discover and explore new adventures through books.  Schools around the country will celebrate the day with reading fairs, assemblies, and other literacy-related events.

NJEA encourages community leaders to join local schools in their celebrations.  All participants are invited to pay tribute to Dr. Seuss by wearing an iconic red and white stovepipe hat, the symbol of his signature character, the Cat in the Hat.

NJEA has made a major investment in Read Across America and each year that commitment grows.  This year, NJEA proudly supports the book One Fish, Two Fish; Red Fish, Blue Fish, a story written by Dr. Seuss in 1960. The book chronicles the adventures of siblings Jay and Kay and the many amazing creatures they have for friends and pets.  With millions of copies sold, it is often touted as among the Top 100 books for educators.

Cat visits—a long-standing NJEA tradition

In addition, thanks to NJEA’s ongoing passion to support childhood literacy in exciting ways, retired educators will again travel across the state in February and March dressed in seven-foot-tall professional Cat in the Hat costumes.  They will visit hundreds of schools, bringing the literacy message to thousands of students.  For the eighth year running, the Cat will gift the library of each school he visits.  This year, each school will receive a copy of One Fish, Two Fish; Red Fish, Blue Fish for students to enjoy.

Along the way, the Cat will encounter the many creative ways that schools celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday, including everything from read-ins and pajama parties to reading extravaganzas featuring politicians, pundits, sports celebrities, and stars of television and movies.

So, what are you waiting for?  This March, plan to grab your hat and read with the Cat!  After all, in the words of the late Dr. Seuss, “Youre never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child!”

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