Read Across America 2010 Begins Here!
Earl Wiman, President, Tennessee Education Association
This year on March 2, 2010, the teachers of Tennessee will not only celebrate Read Across America (RAA) and Dr. Seuss’ birthday, but also the importance of Pre-K in our schools. A strong early learning experience is the foundation in a child’s educational future. Pre-K programs have proven to increase readiness levels of children entering kindergarten, especially those of low-income or at-risk families.
That is why it is as important as ever to celebrate not only reading, but also the preparation of our students in Pre-K for many successful years of learning to follow. This year, the Tennessee Education Association (TEA) is partnering with the Tennessee Department of Education Office of Early Learning and the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation to bring you the Read Across Tennessee Pre-K Celebration!
RAA is celebrated by reading and participating in activities that actively engage the whole child, no matter the age. We have asked local school districts to celebrate RAA and to highlight their Pre-K programs for the entire community.
Celebration ideas for elementary school students include starting the day by serving Green Eggs and Ham for breakfast, holding The Cat in the Hat MessRelays and using laundry baskets to clean up afterward, and using books like Fox in Socks and The Foot Book to inspire students to play games like Twister, which teach the concepts of left hand, right hand and colors to students.
Middle school and high school teachers can use Oh, the Places You’ll Go to stretch and challenge their student’s imaginations. The Lorax can be used to examine ecology and social responsibility. Also, Horton Hatches the Egg is a great choice for a character study or a lesson on gestation periods.
There are Web pages on www.teateachers.org and www.nea.org/readacross dedicated to the Read Across Tennessee Pre-K Celebration and RAA. Here, teachers will find more ideas for creating events and activities to promote reading and to help engage both parents and community members. These events will also serve as a great outlet to share all of the wonderful things that are taking place in Tennessee’s schools. By engaging our parents and community members, we are inviting them to invest in the future of today’s students.
Dr. Seuss tells us in his book The Lorax, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.” On facing up to adversity the good doctor says to us, “I learned there are troubles of more than one kind, some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready, you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me.” The children of this state are depending on us. Each of us today must step forward and commit ourselves to our state, our communities, our students and each other.