On Mar. 4, classrooms across America celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday. In honor of the iconic children’s author, the day has also been dubbed National Read Across America Day. This year, nearly 45 million students, parents, and educators alike celebrated NEA’s Read Across America event. The event helps to encourage children literacy in the community. A group of West Chester University students spent this year’s Read Across America Day by going to the YMCA and West Chester Area Day Care Center to read to children.
I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to volunteer at the West Chester Area Day Care Center, where volunteers went from classroom to classroom reading to children. In the classroom with the youngest children, the volunteers, myself included, were warmly greeted by the teachers.
As the children finished up their snacks, they wandered over to the play area and reached for their favorite books. There were two other volunteers in the room with me, and we all sat on the rug reading to different children. Although the children were young and did not have the longest attention spans, most of them were clearly excited about being read to, and they sat in our laps as we read their favorite stories to them.
In the next classroom, the children were a bit older, around preschool-age. In this room, we were joined by many other volunteers from the university. The children were eager to read more complicated books and were able to sit still much longer. Many of the children had a select favorite book that they wanted read to them. Then, after the first few favorites were finished, the children would pick out even more books. The children, it seemed, couldn’t get enough of the days events! They absolutely loved being read to, and the volunteers were eager to comply.
Although the volunteers were not given specific tasks and were merely told to interact with the children, I consider Read Across America day to have been a success. It’s always fun to get involved and volunteer, and encouraging reading among children is a worthwhile goal that should be accomplished more than just once a year.
The annual event is a reminder of the importance of reading, and a chance for volunteers to pass on their love of reading to the younger generations. With the children being so enthusiastic, it was easy to get enthralled in the books too. I encourage everyone to get involved and volunteer for National Read Across America Day next year.
Theresa Kelly is a second year student majoring in English literature secondary education. She can be reached at TK780615@wcupa.edu.