The Empire Strikes Back: The National Education Association’s new rendition of Read Across America Day aims to rejuvenate reading in our nation’s youth


Jon Rosario

Students in Mr. Weiss’s SET class study and celebrate Read Across America Day with a period committed to reading.

Jon Rosario, Writer

National Read Across America Day (NRAAD), the headline event for the National Education Association’s (NEA) war on faltering reading rates, is back for another year, and the NEA is ready to make an impact. 


Read Across America (RAA) is a small but effective program providing guided teachings, curating an educational book collection, and hosting community reading events. RAA fulfills the NEA’s objective to “bring the joys of reading to students of all ages.”


The NEA’s upcoming March initiative aims to focus on growing a love of reading, something that as Oakdale FCC English teacher Edward Schoder explains, could make kids “more thoughtful and informed.” 


Librarian Renate Owen claims, “a wide range of stories, especially ones where readers can see themselves reflected in the story, are crucial in developing an engaged reader.” 


With tie-ins for Pi Day, National Reading Month, and Women’s History Month, the NEA aims to create a youth of engaged readers with a range of stories that are both relatable and diverse.


On National Read Across America Day, students all across the nation will take part in what is described as a literary ‘celebration. These celebrations follow loose guidelines that are each unique, offering kids the chance to try new stories and opportunities. There are many pre-planned activities such as guest readers, ‘book tastings’ (where kids try out a smorgasbord of books in a ‘cafe’ setting), community poetry, book exchanges, and more. National Read Across America Day is one of the many ways the NEA will advertise reading to the nations’ youth. 


Despite the absence of any official National Read Across America Day activities this year, Oakdale will celebrate reading and aim to “bring the joys of reading to students” this March. March’s new display: “That’s What She Said” (promoting female authors), a host of new prize-based reading competitions, and downtown book giveaways sponsored by the Teacher’s Association. Oakdale staff and students won’t miss a beat of the action.


National Read Across America Day is March 2nd, come visit the Oakdale library, or today to get involved.