On Read Across America Day, Kids ‘Celebrate the Power of Reading' – and Dr. Seuss, of Course

The annual celebration promotes literacy and encourages children to read

Students around the country are spending Dr. Seuss' birthday in a most scholastic and fantastic and appropriate way.

Students are reading Seuss' books on the beloved writer's 112th birthday, with President Barack Obama declaring March 2 Read Across America Day by presidential proclamation Tuesday. 

Obama celebrated the author's place in history, saying Seuss used his writings to instill universal values in his readers.

"Today, and every day, let us celebrate the power of reading by promoting literacy and supporting new opportunities for students to plunge into the pages of a book," Obama said in the proclamation. "As Dr. Seuss noted, 'The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.'"

Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel, a beloved children's book author, is best known for titles such as "The Cat in the Hat," "Green Eggs and Ham," and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" He was born in 1904 in Massachusetts and died in 1991 in California. Read Across America Day always falls on his birthday, and embraces his contributions to literature.

Now in its 19th year, Read Across America is sponsored by the National Education Association, which promotes literacy and encourages children to read. The annual event draws on parents, librarians, and even celebrities to acknowledge and promote the importance of literacy.

Children across the country are reading Seuss' stories and many others Wednesday, according to the NEA, with some classrooms even getting visits from famous characters like the Cat in the Hat, Thing 1 and Thing 2.

The NEA is leading a six-city book tour, with Vice-President Becky Pringle appearing in San Diego, which Seuss called home for many years.

From the Smithsonian to the New York Public Library, schools and institutions are taking to social media to encourage people to read. The hashtag #ReadAcrossAmerica is trending on Twitter.

The White House also used #ReadAcrossAmerica to promote the launch of Open eBooks, an initiative that makes thousands of digital books worth more than $250 million available for free to children in need.

Libraries, schools and shelters working with underprivileged children can qualify by signing up through First Book, a non-profit organization, the White House said.

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