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The Student News Site of Quakertown High School

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The Student News Site of Quakertown High School

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The Student News Site of Quakertown High School

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Young students in Quakertown celebrate the benefits and joy of reading through the Read Across America initiative

Young students in Quakertown celebrate the benefits and joy of reading through the Read Across America initiative

The benefits of reading are well-known and should be celebrated. Read Across America Week, developed by the National Education Association, (NEA) began as a day of celebration in 1998 to encourage children of all ages to read and foster a love of reading. It was declared in March, in honor of beloved author Theodor Seuss Geisel, (Dr. Seuss) involvement in children’s reading. The day has changed over the years. Still focused on the general importance of reading in youth, Read Across America now focuses more on schools nationwide taking the initiative and encouraging students and staff to come together and enjoy the simple pleasures of reading that enable unifying ideas of diversity in the youth of America. 


In current-day society, it is typically celebrated from March 2 to March 6 to allow more than just one day to celebrate the benefits and beauty of reading. The NEA “strives to make sure that every student has access to age-appropriate books that show they are reflected and respected and opposes efforts to limit students’ access to such books.” 


Additionally,  Read Across America has evolved over the years to be more about celebrating diversity and inclusivity through reading. Recommended books by the National Education Association showcase different cultures around the world and different ways children around the world access books and reading. The initiative also provides a way for children celebrating Read Across America to appreciate their literacy freedoms and demonstrate the importance of literature. 


At Trumbauersville Elementary School, Intervention Specialist Peggy Smith is the primary coordinator of Read Across America Week. Smith detailed the importance of introducing diverse literature to kids at a young age. 

“The push is for the literature the kids hear to be diverse and from a different cultural perspective,” Smith said. 

She detailed that as a school they always strive to put a big emphasis on reading and this week allows further celebration. Taking this week to focus on reading and literature allows students to experience books outside of the typical curriculum. 


Traumbersville Elementary School celebrated Read Across America Week this year by having a spirit week with themes including; dressing as a favorite book character, wearing a favorite color,  dressing in Trumbaursville spirit wear, and wearing crazy socks to increase participation in students and incorporating the excitement of reading and spirit in students. With these themes, teachers and staff got involved with characters like Harry Potter, Captain Underpants, and Giraffes. The involvement of teachers encourages students to also participate while still having fun reading, even for those who prefer other subjects. 

Trumbaursville Elementary School also dedicated fifteen minutes out of their day to drop everything and read (DEAR) time. Where the entire school, including all grade-level teachers, would stop class and read for fifteen minutes. 

“DEAR time sheds a positive light on reading and how fun it is,” says 5th-grade reading teacher, Mrs. Bigenho.   

Students have the ability to be immersed in books that they bring from home, which provides a way for students to be more comfortable compared to a book they’re reading for classes.

Students from Quakertown Community High Schools National Honors Society (NHS) influenced the involvement of Read Across America by having members read to elementary students and even answer questions. Annie Smith, a junior, expressed that reading to the students helps them realize that there is a joy in reading, especially since the students feel more inclined to listen to an older kid. Having students from NHS come in and read allows the younger students to recognize that people of all ages, even high schoolers, enjoy reading. 


Expanding reading is an important goal of the teachers and staff at Trumbauersville Elementary. Within the curriculum, many different activities and techniques are implemented to help improve students’ reading skills. Elementary school students share that they use many different reading strategies to participate in the annual celebration including ‘tapping out’[sounding out] words, retelling stories, looking at pictures, and making up their own stories. These kindergarten students were passionate about how they get to read in school and their teacher shared that having the school-wide celebration allows them to see the older kids reading, which acts as a wonderful example. 

One of the main goals expressed during this week is to promote good literacy practices and a love of reading. Talking to the librarian at Trumbauersville Elementary Kelly Hays it is apparent that the teachers are all very passionate about their students’ learning and appreciation for reading. 


“It’s wonderful that we still emphasize reading,” said Hays. “I love it. My central goal is for them to have a lifelong love for reading. “


In recent years, Read Across America Week has shifted from focusing on original ideals, and celebration of Dr. Seuss, to the diversity that reading presents to the youth. Incorporating diverse stories “provides kids with different perspectives and [helps] them see how others think and feel”(NEA). Students are given the opportunity to focus on learning emotional empathy toward all walks of life. The joy of reading continues to flourish under the new light of Read Across America Weeks’ redesigned focus. 


“I think it’s a great time to celebrate all the reading we’re doing and how fun reading is,” said first-grade teacher Lindsay Souder. 

Similar opinions were shared by teachers at the school which was made apparent through their emphasis on student reading habits. Allowing the students to dress up in support of their favorite books and read a book of their choice for a period every day shows a contribution to the children’s literacy. 

Read Across America Week aims to celebrate the freedom to read. By implementing efforts to showcase this in elementary schools, young students are gaining the tools to carry this message on for generations to come. The National Education Society makes it easy for everyone to celebrate Read Across America by posting activities and ideas for students on their website (https://www.nea.org/celebrate-all-year) and encourages access all year round.

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About the Contributors
Maggie Wilson
Maggie Wilson, Staff Editor
Maggie Wilson is a sophomore at Quakertown High School. This is her first year as a PawPrints staff editor. Maggie likes to read and write and other than that loves to dance. She is very excited to write for the paper this year because she wants to be a journalist!
Reagan Lancaster
Reagan Lancaster is a senior at Quakertown High School, this is her second year writing for the PawPrints and her second semester as an editor! Reagan loves movies, music, and absorbing media or talking about the media… Reagan is excited to further her journalistic career and take on the role of editor. 

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