It’s almost here: Read Across America Day! This annual celebration began in 1997 when, as the National Education Association explains, ”a small reading task force at NEA came up with a big idea: ‘Let’s create a day to celebrate reading,’ the group decided.’ We hold pep rallies to get kids excited about football. We assemble to remember that Character Counts. Why don’t we do something to get kids excited about reading?'” The day was set to coincide with Dr. Seuss’s birthday in honor of the beloved children’s author.
Now each year, on or around Dr. Seuss’s birthday and Read Across America Day, schools, organizations, and even businesses host reading-related events. The celebration of books, reading, literacy, children, and Dr. Seuss inspires events all over the United States, including here in Fairfax County and Northern Virginia. And so, we present our third annual Read Across America Day list! It include long-standing events we know and love such as the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia’s Reading: A Family Affair and fun new celebrations by Workhouse Arts Center and Monkey Joe’s.
Another nice plus to this year’s event: the official Read Across America Day is on March 3, a Monday, which is an early-release day for Fairfax County public elementary schools. Of course, you don’t need to attend an event to enjoy quality reading time with your children – you can always just enjoy a favorite story at home or pick up a new book at the library or book store!
Read Across America Day 2014 in Fairfax County
Fri., Feb. 28 – Monday, March 10
Fairfax County Public Library events
Fairfax County Public Libraries celebrate Read Across America Day and Dr. Seuss all week long (and then some)! The nine different events take place at eight libraries across the county. Most are weekday preschool storytimes, but if you have school-age kids, don’t worry – there’s something for them, too, since some events are on Saturday, 3/1, or the afternoon of Monday, 3/3 (early release day for Fairfax County elementary schools).
Events Saturday, March 1
Fairfax County Public Library events
Today’s events are a morning Dr. Seuss story time at the Patrick Henry library and Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss afternoon celebration with stories and games at the Martha Washington library.
Read Across America Day at Workhouse Arts Center
The Workhouse Arts Center hosts its first-ever Read Across America Dayon March 1! The all-day event (starting at 9:30 am) is a free community celebration. Guests of all ages are invited to enjoy book readings, activities such bookmark-making, and photos with the Cat in the Hat. Workhouse Arts also offers a “Dr. Seuss Mini Camp” that day (for a fee) where kids ages 6-10 can do activities such as Cat-in-the-Hat-making and cooking Green Eggs and Ham.
Doodlehopper for Kids Dr. Seuss Story and Craft
Doodlehopper 4 Kids will have a Dr. Seuss Story and Craft day on March 1 at 10:30 am at both its locations (Springfield and Falls Church). Reservations requested; Falls Church: 703-241-2262, Springfield: 703-912-7200.
Literacy Council of Northern Virginia (LCNV) presents Reading: A Family Affair
One of the largest literacy events in our area is LCNV’s annual Reading: A Family Affair. Now in its eighth year, the family festival brings books to life through performance art with storytellers, musicians, dancers, puppeteers, magicians, and Clifford the Big Red Dog. Performers include: Mr. Knick Knack; Jane Franklin Dance; Blue Sky Puppet Theatre; Dean Alan (The Wizard of Reading); Barbara Effron; Oh Susannah!; Sing Books with Emily; Marc Spiegel; and Gary Lloyd. All kids get a free book to take home! Visit the LCNV site for the full schedule of the day’s events (9:30 am-1:30 pm) or see the flyer at the end of this post. There is a suggested donation of $5 per family to benefit the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia’s Student Scholarship Fund.
Read Across America Day at Monkey Joe’s
In honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday and Read Across America Day, Monkey Joe’s Dulles, a fun indoor playground, will have story times from 11 am-noon and 4-5pm. Join Monkey Joe to hear some classic Dr. Seuss tales and other children’s favorites! Each child who participates will receive a Read Across America Certificate; bring a new or gently used book to donate and receive $2.00 off your admission that day! (Only one book per admission per child – not valid with any other discounts or offers.)
Read Across America Day at Barnes & Noble
Celebrate Read Across America Day, Dr. Seuss’ birthday, and the love of reading that his books have inspired with one of his most beloved stories, Green Eggs and Ham, at Barnes & Noble area locations. Times and activities vary by store: Tysons Corner (1 pm; birthday treat for all children), Fairfax/Fair Lakes (10 am; guest appearance by the Cat in the Hat), Springfield (11 am; special activities), Falls Church/Seven Corners (11 am; children’s activity), and Manassas (11 am; crafts and other activities)
Dr. Seuss events at Fairfax County public libraries
Today’s events include the all-day Seussathon story times and afternoon Seuss-extravaganza at the City of Fairfax library, and morning stories at the Sherwood library.