Local Schools Implement Read Across America Week

Truth Arnold, Digital Media and Design Team

Students this week will be participating in the most exciting reading activities in celebration of literacy across America.


Every year on March 2nd, school districts from all around America try to inspire young kids to be more immersed in reading. That includes all of Pittsburgh’s school districts and even North Hills school district as well, as this is the first district-wide literacy week. This day was created by the National Educational Association originally to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Suess, as he is a very known children’s poet and author throughout the country and has produced many iconic children’s books that are still used to help children read today. The popular reading day started in 1997 and has continued to be used in many elementary schools along with middle schools even today.

The Literacy Team for the Pittsburgh Public school district had talked about what Read Across America Day is truly about, specifically within the Pittsburgh areas, and I got to know what their stances are on the events. Their main job in this event is to help teachers and administrators across schools organize the event and recommend books to the students for a successful event day. They often collaborate on what books might excite students and what might help the students grow as readers. As the Executive Direction of Literacy and Library Services, Dr. Ann Fillmore, highlights that this experience “provides students with opportunities to engage with reading that they may not traditionally experience,” she stresses that fact that it brings a lot of progress to each student in the classroom!

There have been many concerns in America about the literacy of children and how there has been many statistics showing the low rates of students being below a proficient level through their K-12 years. Which is why there have been many people within the educational system as well as the general population that would like to see the change in the literacy of children throughout the country and support the Read Across America events. When talking about the importance of the event and how it helps for change, Maya Arnold who is the Pittsburgh Public Schools K-12 ELA Interventionist, had said that, “I think that’s an important focus on reading… it’s important to always have an important way to get books into kids hands and to give it to people who don’t have them.” This event has always been a good start on getting kids interested in reading and providing change in schools and has influenced the programs set in schools on how to further this goal even outside of the one-day event.

There’s definitely a passion for the increase of literacy for youth and even for the everyday folk in America. Even with that passion there are many things that must be done for the education of children in America and even around the world. Naomi York, the K-5 Literacy Coordinator for the Pittsburgh Public School district, had addressed her concern for the consistent restriction within some groups for literacy throughout their school history. She states, “It certainly thinks there are a lot of people within the world where education is still a restriction for some groups and within the U.S. that cannot have access to education or cannot afford the education. We have to make sure that there are kids that do get that kind of education with literacy and that there are methods that ensure that those kids get the education that they need.”

Educators continue to make moves to broaden the intelligence of children today and bring light into the reading programs in Pittsburgh. There is a lot of excitement in the air for their successful event day for schools and students all across the district, and the many reading days to come thereafter!