By Patricia Hall, Fairfax Family Fun
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 schools and organizations host reading-related events. The celebrations of books, reading, literacy, children, and Dr. Seuss happen all over the United States, including here in Fairfax County and Northern Virginia. Here are some ways you can celebrate Read Across America Day on March 2, 2017.
Saturday, February 25, 2017
Barnes & Noble “Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss” story time
Celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday early with special events on Feb. 25 at 11 am at various Barnes & Noble bookstores. The special story times also include coloring, activities, and more. Participating locations in Northern Virginia include Fairfax, Tysons Corner, Springfield, Seven Corners, Manassas, and Clarendon.
Thursday, March 2, through Monday, March 6, 2017
Fairfax County Public Library events
Fairfax County Public Libraries celebrate Read Across America Day and Dr. Seuss with various events, including Dr. Seuss birthday celebrations with story times and activities on Thursday, March 2, at the Great Falls (4 pm), Fairfax (4 pm), and Centreville (4:30 pm) branches. The fun continues on Friday, March 3, with an event for preschoolers at 11:30 am at the Dolley Madison branch, and on Monday, March 6, with a celebration for all ages at 4:30 pm at the Thomas Jefferson branch. To find details for all these events, search on the library website using the term “Seuss.”
Thursday, March 2, 2017
Read Across America Day at Monkey Joe’s Dulles
This large indoor playground with lots to do adds more fun with a day that celebrates the beloved Enjoy lots of fun at this play center with large inflatables, and celebrate Read Across America Day, too. Children will receive a paper “Cat in the Hat” hat while supplies last, and books will be available in a party room to read with your little ones. Thursday Pay-Your-Age discount pricing applies.
Friday, March 3, 2017
Kid Junction’s Hats Off to Dr. Seuss
This large indoor playground with lots to do adds more fun with a day that celebrates the beloved children’s author and promotes literacy for guests of all ages. Special activities include story times, appearances by princesses, and a book drive. Admission is $5 for kids for this special event from 6 pm to 8 pm.
Sunday, March 5, 2017
Speak for the Trees
Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday with a reading of “The Lorax.” Make a Lorax craft and learn how trees help people. From 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Fairfax County’s E.C. Lawrence Park. The event is heard to kids age 2-12 (who must be accompanied by an adult); $8/child.
Celebrate at home
Celebrating at home can be as simple as finding a new book to enjoy or re-reading a favorite. To make it more fun, download this free activity guide from the NEA: it has suggestions for encouraging reading and initiating discussions, as well as ideas for games, crafts, and more. The guide is intended as a resource for classroom teachers, but it’s useful for anyone (homeschoolers may especially like it!).