In honor of Read Across America Day, we are thrilled to welcome our guest writer for today’s blog, Annie Holyfield. Annie is a talented educator and an avid reader who is passionate about promoting literacy. Annie won the 2018 Klingenstein Teacher Award, which is presented annually to an outstanding teacher, nominated and selected by their peers, who brings the spirit and values of EL Education to life in their classroom.
What is Read Across America Day?
The increasingly popular literacy celebration of Dr. Seuss’s Birthday and Read Across America day on March 2nd is where thousands of schools nationwide celebrate the beloved author and all things reading. Over the last couple of years, the focus on Dr. Seuss has become somewhat controversial, but that is not the topic of my posting today, but rather, how events like Read Across America Day support the importance of fostering the love of reading and the development of early childhood literacy.
Why is this important?
Understanding the science of reading and how students learn to read has been at the forefront of every teacher’s professional development and instructional coaching. We now know the importance of structured and systematic phonics instruction and how targeted skills can support all students in cracking the code to learn to read and write. But, we also recognize that listening to high-quality read-alouds and being exposed to complex sentence structures and vocabulary are also critical components of learning to read and deep comprehension skills.
Where do we go from here?
Events like Read Across America put these latter components of reading at the forefront of instruction for the day and sometimes the week. The goal is to think about what this means for the rest of the year. How can we create opportunities for increasing the joy of reading for our students and kids to support early literacy opportunities for our students and kids every day? Research shows that early literacy exposure and development for children are directly linked with academic achievement and higher graduation rates. But, as a teacher and parent, what I care about most is that my students/child are able to love books in a way that opens new worlds and adventures for them. Events like Read Across America are a great start to propelling my student/child’s love!
Need fresh ideas to incorporate in your home, child care setting, or preschool? Click here
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Written by: Annie Holyfield