NEA’s Read Across America celebrates reading—and books! | NEA (2024)

Washington, D.C. – It’s time to jump into the biggest reading celebration in the country with NEA’s Read Across America! Every year, NEA’s Read Across America brings the joys of reading to students of all ages and makes children feel valued and welcomed by celebrating diverse readers and books. The centerpiece of the popular year-round program is the nationwide reading extravaganza that occurs annually on or around March 2. An estimated 45 million people will participate in NEA’s Read Across America on March 2, including educators, students, librarians, lawmakers, actors, athletes, grandparents, first-responders, caretakers, and many others!

"NEA’s Read Across America celebrates a nation of diverse readers. If we are going to create more readers and writers, people who feel included and recognized, and people whose stories make the world far richer for all of us —we need more books, not fewer,” said NEA President Becky Pringle. “Students deserve the freedom to read more books that are as diverse and complex as the society in which we live. When we have books that include characters of all races, genders and backgrounds, students discover their own voices and learn from the stories and voices of others.”

The biggest celebration of reading in America takes place amidst unprecedented, partisan efforts to deny students an accurate and honest education, to censor the lessons taught in our classrooms, and to ban books and erase students out of history based on their gender identity, race, or origins.

“Now more than ever, all children—no matter their race, place, or the language they speak at home—deserve the freedom to read, to learn, and to develop the knowledge and skills to reckon with our past and pursue their dreams,” said Becky Pringle. “When some politicians ban books, censor lessons, or erase people from the history books, they deprive students of an honest and accurate history that enable them to learn from the mistakes of our past to help create a better future.”

Diverse stories provide students with different perspectives and help them see how others think and feel. Getting to tell your own story is also important—and transformative—especially for children as they use stories to learn and make a difference in the world.

Inspired by titles that encourage readers to play with stories, NEA’s Read Across America has rallied the support of children’s book authors and publishers to help educators and caring adults reach students of all ages to celebrate NEA’s Read Across America.

Below are the some of the ways in which parents, educators, and students can jump into stories with NEA’s Read Across America!

  • For the first time, NEA is hosting a special Read Across America event focused on older readers. In this YA Author Chat, four young adult authors—. J. Elle (Wings of Ebony), Margarita Engle (With a Star in My Hand), Loan Le (A Phở Love Story), and Brittney Morris (The Cost of Knowing)—discuss why diverse books matter for all students as part of a moderated conversation led by educator Tanya Johnson Martin. Panelists will cover how providing book choices that represent the richness of students’ lives can make a difference in high school classrooms. The event, in partnership with Simon & Schuster, begins at 7 p.m. ET on March 2 on Facebook.
  • NEA is asking educators, students, and readers from all walks of life to share their own stories—written or on video—about books and reading experiences as part of Read Across America. These stories will be shared as part of the Reader Experience, and featured on NEA’s website, social media channels, in print, and at special events. Watch activist, author, and Read Across America Ambassador Marley Dias share her own story of how Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming ignited her activism!
  • Alicia D. Williams, author of the Read Across America recommended title Jump at the Sun: The True Life Tale of Unstoppable Storycatcher Zora Neale Hurston, has a passion for storytelling. In a video interview with Marley Dias, Williams shares more about Zora Neale Hurston, storytelling, and ways to use history and stories to get kids jumping.
  • Educators and parents can tune into NEA’s School Me podcast and listen to a conversation about children’s literature and the power of family stories with Andrea Davis Pinkney, award-winning author of nearly 50 books for children and young adults, including Loretta Little Looks Back: 3 Voices Go Tell It, a Read Across America recommended book for middle-grade readers.

“Let’s celebrate a nation of diverse readers—not only on Read Across America Day but all year long,” concluded Becky Pringle. “Together, we can make lifelong readers of the kids in your lives by continuing to read more diverse and inclusive books in the months and years to come.”

About NEA’s Read Across America

Launched in 1998 by the National Education Association and guided by a committee of educators, NEA’s Read Across America is the nation’s largest celebration of reading. This year-round program focuses on motivating children and teens to read through events, partnerships, and reading resources that are about everyone, for everyone. The titles and resources featured by NEA’s Read Across America include books that students can see themselves reflected in, as well as books that allow readers to see a world or a character that might be different than them.


Follow on Twitter at @NEAmedia and @BeckyPringle

Keep up with the conversation: #ReadAcrossAmerica

# # #

The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, students preparing to become teachers, healthcare workers, and public employees. Learn more at

NEA’s Read Across America celebrates reading—and books! | NEA (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Geoffrey Lueilwitz

Last Updated:

Views: 6305

Rating: 5 / 5 (60 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Geoffrey Lueilwitz

Birthday: 1997-03-23

Address: 74183 Thomas Course, Port Micheal, OK 55446-1529

Phone: +13408645881558

Job: Global Representative

Hobby: Sailing, Vehicle restoration, Rowing, Ghost hunting, Scrapbooking, Rugby, Board sports

Introduction: My name is Geoffrey Lueilwitz, I am a zealous, encouraging, sparkling, enchanting, graceful, faithful, nice person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.