*The attached video is about the Cleveland Public Library.

CLEVELAND (WJW) – National Read Across America Day, also known as Dr. Seuss Day, is being celebrated Thursday as part of an initiative on reading created by the National Education Association. 

National Read Across America Day is celebrated each year on March 2, Dr. Seuss’s birthday.

Theodor Seuss Geisel, also known as Dr. Suess, was a children’s author and cartoonist. Dr. Seuss was born on March 2, 1904 and died on September 24, 1991.

According to the NEA, Read Across America was launched in 1998 and is the nation’s largest celebration of reading. The event is designed to encourage reading in children and is fostered through the schools.

“Across the nation, teachers, teenagers, librarians, politicians, actors, athletes, parents, grandparents, and others develop Read Across America activities to bring reading excitement to children of all ages,” the NEA website says. “Governors, mayors, and other elected officials recognize the role reading plays in their communities with proclamations and floor statements. Athletes and actors issue reading challenges to young readers. And educators and principals seem to be more than happy to dye their hair green or be duct-taped to a wall to boost their students’ enthusiasm for reading.”

The White House and President Joe Biden also released a proclamation on 2023’s Read Across America Day.

“On Read Across America Day, our Nation recognizes the value of literacy to our democracy. We celebrate the books that inspire our children to dream big, expand the limits of their understanding, and explore diverse perspectives and cultures through the eyes of others,” the proclamation says.

The White House says that the country also honors educators, parents, librarians, authors, mentors, and all of those who foster the power of reading.

“The more that you read,” Dr. Seuss wrote, “the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” 

According to the White House and Dr. Seuss, knowledge is power.

“Books impart lessons that enrich our lives, stimulate our curiosity, promote contemplation and reflection, and affirm the myriad possibilities available to every person. Reading transports kids to unique places where they can embrace unfamiliar ideas, develop their own intellect, and spark creativity in their lives. Our children are the kite strings that lift our national ambitions, and inspiring them to read is essential to America’s future,” the proclamation states.

Because not all children have the same access to books and education, Biden says, “My Administration is committed to improving literacy across America and supporting the devoted educators on the frontlines of this work.”

According to the proclamation, the American Rescue Plan invested $122 billion to help schools reopen safely after lockdown, promote academic recovery, increase teacher pay, enhance mental health services and expand afterschool and summer programs.

The NEA says the Read Across America brand is now, “independent of any one particular book, publisher, or character,” saying the brand “recognizes the need to work with a more diverse array of organizations and publishers to fulfill this need.”

For more on how to celebrate Read Across America, click here.