Ten picture books piled on a grey table with a cild's tea cup on top/

Everyday Advocacy: Participate in Read Across America Week

March 2016

Read Across America is a week-long celebration of reading and the birthday of Theodore Seuss Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss.) Below are some tips for promoting the joy of reading and library services all in one.

  • Displays:
    • Seuss books—If you have any left! Expect them to go quickly. Consider using replicas of the books by inserting printed book covers into empty DVD or VHS cases.
    • Seuss inspired books—find titles that are whimsical and inspiring.
    • Put up a quote wall. Invite teachers and students to share their favorite Seuss quotes.
    • Make a photo booth. Teachers and students can pose for a photo and write about their favorite Dr. Seuss books on an index card or sticky note. This creates a display that can last the entire month. Take it up a notch and set up a computer station where they can self-record a video that you later put on your school or library website. Make sure your school or district has a photo/media release policy and the media that you share is in compliance.
  • Activities
    • Challenge your classroom teachers to a Dr. Seuss or other book-themed door decorating contest. Let the school community vote on the winners. See if your school budget or PTA has funds for a small prize for the teacher and class who wins.
    • Have a reading spirit week, where students and teachers dress up in the spirit of a different popular book-related theme each day.
    • Host a choral reading flash mob in the school cafeteria during lunch. Consider organizing multiple groups: one group reads a Seuss piece, and another reads a poem linked to the curriculum like a Shakespearean sonnet, a Lewis Carroll limerick, etc.

Programs like this galvanize the school community and place the school library at the center of activity because the librarian and a team of happy patrons (students and teachers) serve as catalysts for the effort.

More ideas can be found here.

Everyday Advocacy” is a column I wrote in 2016 for DC Public Schools. The column was a part of the district librarians’ monthly newsletter update.


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