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Patch Picks: Read Across America Day

Today, March 2, is Read Across America Day, which honors Dr. Seuss's birthday. Here are some special ways to participate.

Test drive a mazda: Really! According to the National Education Foundation Website, “Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) has teamed up with Universal Studios, NEA’s Read Across America, and the NEA Foundation to benefit public school libraries nationwide. Mazda has pledged up to $1 million in support of the nation’s public school libraries through a unique test drive program. For each test drive of a Mazda vehicle between Feb. 21 and April 2, Mazda will donate $25 toward public school libraries nationwide, up to $1 million. Administered by the NEA Foundation, this donation will provide vital funds to help the nation’s struggling public school libraries.” For more information, visit nea.org/grants/50849.htm.

Host a reading party: Invite your friends and neighbors over for an evening of books and reading. Ask everyone to bring a book to exchange and keep. If you want to get really creative, pick out a book in advance and assign parts to be read aloud. If you plan on  focusing on Dr. Seuss, it might be fun to make some Cat in the Hat hats for your guests. Find out how here.

Donate books to those in need: Did you know that Reach Out and Read New Jersey is actively looking for book donations? According to the group's website: “Reach Out and Read makes literacy promotion a standard part of pediatric primary care, so that children grow up with books and a love of reading. Reach Out and Read trains doctors and nurses to advise parents about the importance of reading aloud and to give books to children at pediatric check ups from 6 months to 5 years of age, with special focus on children growing up in poverty.” For more information, visit rornj.org.  

Have a Seuss book and movie night: The Cat in the Hat is a perfect choice for a combination book and movie night. First, read the book aloud, then watch the 2003 movie starring Mike Myers. Afterwards, have a discussion about the book and movie, focusing on the similarities and differences in each. And, there’s no reason not to serve up green eggs and ham for dinner, even if they are from a different book.

Connect with others: The Read Across America organization has set up a Facebook page so that you can connect with other readers involved in the day. After you join, you can share your activity ideas, upload photos and videos from your event, make new friends and get even more creative thoughts on how to keep the joy of reading in your life year-round. For more information, visit facebook.com/neareadacrossamerica. And don't forget, you can upload your Seuss-themed fun to Collingswood Patch's Neighborhood Gallery as well!

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