NDA Celebrates Read Across America Event With Neighboring SchoolFriday, March 16, 2012 By Margaret Faller
Each year around March 2, the birthdate of Dr. Seuss, the nation’s largest reading event Read Across America is celebrated. NDA’s chapter of the National English Honor Society (NEHS) celebrates by collaborating with neighboring Franklin Middle School and their 8 th grade language arts classes on Dr. Seuss-themed reading and writing activities. “This event encourages communities to make promoting reading a priority while celebrating the timeless joy of Dr. Seuss,” said NEHS adviser Stefanie Jochman. “I don't know if one day can solve the nation's literacy concerns, but it can offer a chance for people to show each other how important reading is to their lives and how fun it can be to read with friends and family.” “My goal with the NEHS Read Across America project has always been about building relationships between middle school and high school students,” said Ms. Jochman, “and I'm grateful for the chance to build those relationships through reading. A lot of good memories can be made over a storybook.” The event has enriched the lives of Notre Dame Academy students as well as Franklin Middle School students. “The Read Across America event with Franklin Middle School was very rewarding,” said NDA senior and student body president Mel Ricker. “The 8 th graders were really creative and a lot of fun to work with. It was great to finally be able to connect with Franklin too because it’s so close, but we’ve never really had the opportunity before.” “It was awesome to see how far you can bring a group of kids like that in such a short time,” said senior Sam McNulty. “Seeing their faces and how proud they are of the work they have done is what it’s all about. It was a great time and I cannot wait to go back next week.” The event empowers each child with a start and passion for the written word. “I think it's important that parents, teachers, neighbors and friends show younger people that reading is fun and empowering. That's why I like being able to bring the NEHS students and Franklin students together,” said Ms. Jochman. “I don't know if our strategy is the only one, but I think simply sharing a love of reading with someone younger can be a step in the right direction.” Children of all ages love hearing Dr. Seuss books over and over again, so it is only fitting that students and teachers around the country celebrate Read Across America annually on Dr. Seuss’s birthday. “ The holiday celebrates the life of Dr. Seuss, one of my favorite writers,” said the adviser. “In fact, his work is very tied to my own first reading experiences. My dad used Dr. Seuss's Fox in Sox as his reading test for me. Dr. Seuss did a lot to promote early literacy, and I think it's up to his many fans to carry on his legacy.” Read Across America highlights the importance of literacy in our country and “emphasizes the importance of reading as a communal activity--something families, friends, and neighbors should do together,” added Ms. Jochman.