Read Across America 2022


Happy 118th birthday, Dr. Seuss! In honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday on March 2, people across the country will be celebrating by reading good books. National Read Across America Day was established by the National Education Association (NEA) in 1998 to help promote the joy of reading for children. As it turns out however, establishing reading habits early in life can provide potential lifelong benefits.

Reading is good for your mental health.

In a study conducted by the University of Sussex, reading for just six minutes was shown to lower heart rates, decrease muscle tension, and reduce stress levels. Making time to read, even for just a few minutes daily, can be a welcome and relaxing break while helping us effectively cope with stressful times.

Reading can help you live longer.

My late grandmother, a former teacher, was an avid reader. She read about 50 books per year, along with the daily newspaper, and monthly issues of National Geographic. She also lived to be 105 years old.

It turns out, reading may have contributed to my grandmother’s longevity. This interesting 12-year study involving 3,635 adults, concluded that people who read 3 ½ hours weekly were 23% likely to live longer than those who didn’t read at all.

Reading is good for cognitive functioning.

 My beloved grandmother had a sharp mind. She never stopped learning (I taught her how to use an iPad when she was 100 years old, and she was seen using it days before she died. You can read more about my tech-savvy grandma here.)

The results of this study in Japan involving “community-dwelling seniors” ranging in ages 70 to 86 shows evidence of increased cognitive functions (including increased processing speed and executive functions) of participants after completing a daily reading and math training program.

As you know, reading provides us all – young and old - with so much to celebrate. From hosting guest readers to revitalizing a Little Free Library, check out these 14 “big ideas” from the NEA for taking part in National Read Across America Day. Or host a party online with the help of these 9 ideas for virtual celebrations.

Of course, special reading activities and events don’t need to be limited to March 2. Consider joining or hosting a book club with students or with a group of your friends. This resource provides helpful guidance on choosing books and facilitating meaningful book club discussions.

Finally, are you looking for your next good book to read? From a school psychologist in Maryland to a math teacher in Illinois to a special education paraprofessional in California, this blog post from our archives includes 19 educator-recommended titles for you to choose from.

Happy National Read Across America Day, educators! How will you celebrate this year? Please share your own ideas!

Here are a few classes related to this topic:

Jill Rockwell
Jill has over 13 years of experience as a licensed teacher in the areas of Special Education, Reading Education, and Health Education. She embraces diversity and has worked with students in grades K-12 in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and California. Jill completed her Master of Science degree at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls while teaching full time. She fully understands the soaring demands of today’s teachers. Her courses are designed to maximize the time of all educators by providing engaging, meaningful, and applicable activities which can be used to enhance teaching practices. She focuses on research-based best practices and technology integration throughout her own instructional practices. Together with her husband and two young boys, Jill enjoys traveling, biking and the changing seasons of the great outdoors in Wisconsin. 

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