Read Across America Day
March 2 is a big day for libraries. It is a day to celebrate both Read Across America Day and Dr. Seuss’ birthday! Honor the many talents and influences of the famous author by rejoicing in the power of reading with programming suitable for all ages!
Read-a-Thons are a fun way to help grow a child’s love for reading and raise funds. There are two ways to carry out this event. You can take the easier approach by doing everything online utilizing a site like Read-A-Thon, or you can host an actual one-time event at the library. If you go with the former, it might be a good idea to throw a kickoff party at the library to get people excited about the challenge. If you go with the latter, here are some tips to consider:
- Decide whether you want this to be a fundraiser or simply a fun event. If it is a fundraiser, are you raising funds for your library or for a nonprofit? Just make sure you inform participants of the fundraising aspect ahead of time so they have enough time to generate pledges.
- Make sure to promote the event in advance. Create flyers, display information around the library, make bookmarks, add it to your website, talk about it at prior children’s events and more.
- Participants are bound to work up an appetite. Make sure to have a snack buffet filled with a mix of healthy and indulgent treats, just be sure to have some gummy “book” worms on hand!
- Invite participants to bring in pillows and blankets so they can make themselves cozy. If you’re feeling extra nice, give them the option of removing their shoes. They’ll think it’s a hoot they can go shoeless in the library!
- Create a display so participants can keep track of their progress throughout the event. Allow the kids to add a post-it note under their name for each point they earn.
- Decide whether you’ll have prizes for the winner(s) and what they will be. Will you have prize packages for different levels of results? Or top three winners? Be sure to communicate your rules and requirements clearly.
Around the World in Six Books:
For adults, try suggesting a reading list of international best-sellers. Because adults don’t have the same amount of leisure time as children, select titles that have also been made into movies. That way, if they are strapped for time, they can transport themselves somewhere new in two hours or less!
March Madness has nothing on a reading tournament! In the month leading up to Read Across America Day, challenge kids and teens to read all the books on their respective brackets. Then have them vote each week for the winner of each matchup. Winning bracket gets a great prize!
For a low-budget, high-impact event, host a book tasting! Simply select top titles for different age groups, or theme it around something specific. Lay the books out on tables with one book per chair. Give each participant a “menu” for them to write down their favorite picks, then give them three to five minutes to read each book. Afterward, have a table of treats to play into the “tasting” aspect. You could also have participants bring in canned food items to help out a local food bank. One can could equal one entry into a book raffle!
A film series is an easy – and fun – way to encourage your community to read more. Show a couple of the films listed below during the special week, or screen more throughout the entire month of March! Here are some of our top picks your community will love:
Dr. Seuss Movie Series
Reward your community for participating in your programming – and celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday – by showing one or more of these: