It is no secret that reading benefits both kids and adults. Reading is good for brain development in kids, and for them to develop an open mind. Even though the brains of adults have fully developed by the time they are in their mid-twenties, reading helps in many other ways, like reducing stress and improving focus. Even though Read Across America day is more prevalent in school and parent communities, we can all benefit from finding a good book and join the celebration.
What Is Read Across America?
Read Across America is an event that promotes reading in children as well as in young adults. It takes place every year on March 2nd, or the closest school day to March 2nd, which was Dr. Seuss’s birthday.
The main goal of this day is to incentivize the habit of reading from a young age. Another of the many benefits of this celebration is that kids can become more diverse and aware of other cultures, depending on the books they encounter. They can also take advantage of the event to learn more about their own culture and society so they can build their identity.
During this day, week, and even month, kids and young adults will be encouraged to read books on different topics.
Community centers, libraries, and schools in the USA bring students and their parents together by gathering them to read books, to participate in the event. Some students organize book fairs and make reading pledges as well.
Read Across America Activity Ideas
Reading has so many benefits for kids. However, motivation can be a challenge. Here are some ideas to spark excitement in time to celebrate Read Across America day.
1. A Scavenger Hunt For Books
Kids generally love scavenger hunts, so why not create a book scavenger hunt? This alone should make them excited about reading. An idea for a book scavenger hunt is to go to the local library and give them 5 to 10 titles of books that they will need to look for in the library. The books can be about anything such as family, sports, different cultures, or holidays. Just make sure they are in different places. Also, make up some sort of reward, so the kids get excited when they start finding the books. This activity should spice up an event that may not excite kids who aren’t avid readers.
2. A Healthy Reading Event
This particular event will promote books that can help build their self-esteem, teach them about healthy eating, and living a healthy lifestyle and mindfulness. There are many ways to organize this type of event. Parents can pick those books and offer healthy but yummy snacks. Teachers could work with yoga instructors or naturopaths to find the best books for kids that cover those topics. Yoga studios can even join the celebration and hold this particular reading event.
3. An Event That Focuses On Cultural Diversity
This reading event will be focused on multiculturalism, and this can be set up in schools or in community centers with reading booths that belong to a specific culture. For instance, if there are children’s books on Japanese culture, then there should be a reading booth for Japanese culture. In contrast, there will be another one for Colombian culture and another for French culture, and so on. The point of this is to familiarize kids with other cultures, so they become diverse.
An enticing idea for this type of event is for each booth to offer snacks that are part of the cultural cuisine. For instance, a reading booth for Japanese culture can have boxes of Pocky Biscuit Sticks or different flavor Mochi snacks. The French booth could have French macaroons, French butter cookies, French waffle cookies, and so on.
4. A Reading Garden
This is only going to apply to states that are in a warm in April. An outdoor garden by a school can be set up for reading to take place with books, tables, chairs, and even areas they can lay comfortably on the floor. This event will stimulate their engagement with nature, which is also good for their mind and soul. The selected books for this activity could cover mindfulness, expressing gratitude, and anything that has to do with self-development. Books about the outdoors, animals, and nature are also extremely fitting.
Who said that only schools, libraries, and community centers can be the ones to host a reading event? Why not host one yourself by renting a convention hall. You could even leverage a shared space if you live in an apartment building. The important thing is to find a way of doing it inexpensively and choosing a theme that you think will be interesting to your community. Then encourage families with kids to attend using social media, posters, and the good old word of mouth.
As you can see by now, there are endless ways of creating Read Across America activities. We hope you enjoyed our ideas and they help you make your event even more enjoyable. Once we make kids realize how much fun reading can be, we have won half the battle. Get creative and have fun!