Read Across America Day is a reading initiative created by the National Education Association to inspire children everywhere to read. Another goal of this day is to foster a love of reading among the students of America. Read Across America Day is March 2, in correlation with Dr. Seuss’ birthday, but Westwind Elementary chose to celebrate it on Monday, February 28.

Westwind Elementary Media Specialist Angela Howard and Counselor Qualimetra Chapman asked readers to come read once every hour of the school day. They had five classes of students each hour being read to, with a total of 30 guest readers for the day. In addition to Westwind’s principal, Brandy Copeland, and assistant principal, Rhonda Coursey, they invited anyone available from Frenship’s Casey Administration office to read to a group of students. The remaining time slots were filled with community members.

All kindergarten through fifth grade students participated in this event. Students listened as the guest readers used different voices, created different characters, and fostered an engaging reading session. Some readers used the Novel Effect app which allowed students to hear special sound effects that went along with the story.

Read Across America Day is just one of many ways Westwind tries to instill the love of reading in their students. During this time, they want students to see just how many people are reading across America. This activity is important for the student to participate in because reading increases vocabulary, enhances imagination, improves writing skills, helps people gain knowledge and understand the world around them, and so much more. The staff at Westwind want their students to enjoy reading and to read every opportunity that they have.

“We are deeply grateful to each and every reader who came,” said Howard. “The students were absolutely thrilled to have people come read to them. They were glued to the readers and awed by them as if they were movie stars. Several students asked if they could come back and do it again.”