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Read Across America Day in the United States

Many people in the United States, particularly students, parents and teachers, join forces on Read Across America Day, annually held on March 2. This nationwide observance coincides with the birthday of Dr Seuss, who is known for writing children’s books.

Is Read Across America Day a Public Holiday?

Read Across America Day is not a public holiday. Businesses have normal opening hours.

map of America depicted with pages from a book
Read Across America Day is held on March 2 each year.
Read Across America Day is held on March 2 each year.
©iStockphoto.com/tainted

What Do People Do?

Read Across America Day promotes reading, particularly for children and young adults.  Many schools, libraries, and community centers across the United States participate in the day by bringing people together to take part in reading books. Various reading activities and events are held across the country on this day. For example, some students take part in a Read Across America channel designed to showcase student and educator videos around the country. Others make reading pledges, organize book fairs, or read aloud to groups of people.

Public Life

Read Across America Day an observance and is not a federal public holiday in the United States.

Background

In 1997 an organization known as the National Education Association (NEA), pushed for a special day to celebrate reading throughout the United States. This idea proved to be a popular one so it was not long before the first Read Across America Day was held on March 2, 1998. This nationwide observance coincides with the birthday of Dr Seuss (Geisel), an American writer best known writing children’s books. Some of his books include Green Eggs and Ham, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, and The Cat in the Hat.

The NEA represents about 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.  It provides resources and activities for educators, parents, and children.

Symbols

Read Across America calendars and other promotional material for Read Across America Day show images of activities associated with reading, learning, literacy and other elements of education.

Read Across America Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2010TueMar 2Read Across America DayObservance 
2011WedMar 2Read Across America DayObservance 
2012FriMar 2Read Across America DayObservance 
2013FriMar 1Read Across America DayObservance 
2014MonMar 3Read Across America DayObservance 
2015MonMar 2Read Across America DayObservance 
2016WedMar 2Read Across America DayObservance 
2017ThuMar 2Read Across America DayObservance 
2018FriMar 2Read Across America DayObservance 
2019FriMar 1Read Across America DayObservance 
2020MonMar 2Read Across America DayObservance 

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