Empowering futures through literacy: Celebrating Read Across America Day

March 05, 2024

Student reading a book to children

This past Saturday communities came together to celebrate Read Across America Day, a day devoted to sharing the importance of literacy within our society. 

Read Across America Day festivities can extend beyond the designated date by sharing a book with a friend, looking into reading volunteer opporitunites, or simply setting aside time for personal reading

Brian Koonz, director of editorial services, has dedicated his time to reading at elementary schools through United Way for the past three years. Koonz plans to continue the tradition for years to come.

“It's given me the opportunity to give back to the local community and encourage young students who have bright futures ahead of them," said Koonz. "Reading is often the key that can help unlock those dreams for these children.”

“It’s a lot of fun," Koonz said. "They ask really funny questions and I feel really fortunate enough to be able to do this."

Taking inspiration from Koonz, students have the opporitunity to get involved in this initiative by volunteering through United Way.

Reading can impact every facet of life, Anna Brady, associate dean of education explained.

“The more we can do to support the development of reading skills, in schools and communities, the better outcomes we will see in children and adults academically, socially, and economically at both a local and national level," she said.

Read Across America Day is a great way for people of all ages to take part in, Brady adds.

“Whether someone prefers unillustrated novels or rhyming picture books, Read Across America is an opportunity to highlight the value and importance of reading in schools and communities," she said.

Individuals can participate in Read Across America activities by dressing up as a favorite storybook character, or sharing a favorite book, said Brady.

"Participating supports everyone toward developing a positive identity as a reader," she said. 

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