Sponsored by the National Education Association, March 1-31 is now known as National Reading Month. Previously centered around Dr. Seuss's birthday on March 2nd, as information emerged about the racism within many of Seuss's books, it became important to refocus the Read Across America Day and week on the joys of reading rather than canonizing a single person.
The NEA now focuses its efforts on highlighting inclusive children's books, expanding the program to a year-long celebration of, "authors, and teaching resources that promote diversity and inclusion.” You can join them virtually on March 2nd for a discussion on Facebook about the importance of diverse books. On the NEA website, you can also find recommended books, activities, resources, and events to help inspire readers with all kinds of stories, the art of storytelling, and authors and poets who tell stories well.
Click here for a booklist curated by the NEA, full of books perfect for celebrating National Reading Month.
There are so many ways to celebrate the joys of reading without centering texts and images built on racist stereotypes. We hope these resources are helpful to you as you work to make your schools and communities more safe, welcoming, and inclusive of all students!