Read Across America Week promotes literacy

Published 12:00 pm Monday, April 1, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Starting on Mar. 4, the Lowndes County Public Schools (LCPS) experienced an action-packed week that highlighted the importance of reading for its students. 

Read Across America is an annual literacy motivation program that calls for students across the country to celebrate reading. 

The week is usually kick-started on Mar. 2, the birthday of children’s author Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel), and is celebrated in schools and libraries across the country with special events that center around reading and literature. 

Email newsletter signup

Traci English, principal of Central Elementary School, expressed the importance of Read Across America Week and said that the elementary school provides many ways for students to work on their reading skills.

“Read Across America places special emphasis on the importance of literacy for both children and adults,” English said. “This commemorative week of reading encourages students’ love for reading and the joys it brings through specifically orchestrated activities that introduce children to one of the most beloved and celebrated authors of our time, Dr. Seuss.” 

According to English, literacy programs abound at the school and faculty members have employed creative ways to inspire children to practice reading skills.

“At Central Elementary School, we provide myriad opportunities for students to read,” English said. “We have CUBS (Creating Unconventional Reading Spaces) Carts that are placed strategically throughout the building so that students are surrounded by reading opportunities. The carts can be found in each of the grade level quads as well as in the gym, cafeteria, and main office. These mobile libraries give students access to books in places beyond the school’s library and in their classrooms. Extended access to books means students have diverse opportunities for literacy growth.” 

Each school in the Lowndes County Schools district celebrated the week with their own special events. 

Many of these events included days where students got to dress out in clothing inspired by many of Dr. Seuss’ works. 

One of these activities included “Wacky Wednesday” where students showed off their wacky hair, wacky shirts, wacky hats, wacky shades, or wacky ties with their uniform bottoms. 

Central Elementary’s media center also presented an opportunity for teachers to get more involved with a Read Across America door decorating contest. 

Along with these activities, the schools also featured many guests who visited the campuses to read to the students. 

Among these guests was Shatara Clark, a former Central High School teacher, who was invited to speak with students about the importance of reading as a well-established entrepreneur. 

Archie Curtis, principal of Central High School, expressed the importance of the week in the Lowndes County School District. 

“It’s so important to reinforce the reading skills of our students because it helps students to not only learn how to read but also with their comprehension skills in their day to day life,” Curtis said. “Specifically in our English classes, we try to involve our students in reading novels and doing book reports. They’re reading about books and presenting that information to their classmates and teachers.” 

Nicholas Townsend expanded on that idea and said that the faculty and staff at The Calhoun School focuses heavily on reading improvement daily. 

“Reading is not stressed the way it used to be,” Townsend said. “That is why it’s important for us to focus on reading and the importance of students reading on a daily basis. Reading gives them those comprehension skills and if you can read, you can basically do anything in life. We’re doing the writing and Accelerated Reader (AR) program with the high school students as well so they receive incentives for that as well which encourages them to read more.”