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Read Across in America January!

Making every student feel valued and welcome.

A welcoming and caring culture is necessary for  schoolwide achievement. How do we make everyone feel valued and welcome? Start with books that reflect everyone in your community and work to engage students in discussion of commonalities and differences.

For Younger Readers

HER RIGHT FOOT by Dave Eggers; illustrated by Shawn Harris (Chronicle, 2017)

Learn more about the Statue of Liberty and the powerful message of acceptance that is found in her right foot.

Read, Discuss and Explore:

Help students understand what a symbol is. A symboland how they work can be very powerful. Talk about the symbols found in the design of the Statue of Liberty and what they represent. Do people know just by looking at a symbol what it represents? Can symbols have different meanings? Can a meaning of a symbol change? Talk with students about other symbols of the United States. Do they feel like those symbols represent what they know and understand about the U.S.? Ask them to think about, sketch, and share ideas for their own symbols for freedom, opportunity, and democracy.

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For Middle Grade Readers

FLYING LESSONS & OTHER STORIES edited by Ellen Oh (Crown, 2017)
This anthology, full of hopes and hardships, basketball dreams, family fiascos, and first crushes, celebrates the uniqueness and universality in all of us.

Read, Discuss and Explore:

Flying Lessons & Other Stories is dedicated to the author Walter Dean Myers, who believed that young people need to see themselves reflected in the pages of the books they read. Have students discuss the stories and characters in the anthology that they identified with and at what levels. Was it because a character physically looked like them, or did they share similar interests, characteristics, or family backgrounds? Have students brainstorm categories they would use to show how they saw themselves reflected in these stories reflect the diversity of your classroom, school, and the world? What ideas do students have for finding more stories where they can see themselves?

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For Young Adult Readers

AMERICAN STREET by Ibi Zoboi (Balzer + Bray, 2017)
Fabiola and her mother leave Haiti to join her aunt and cousins in Detroit. But when her mother is detained by U.S. immigration officials, Fabiola must learn on her own how to navigate and adapt to her new family members and a new culture.

Read, Discuss and Explore:

After reading American Street, encourage students to explore how immigration has impacted them, their family, or your community. How did the Fabiola welcoming students students new to this nation and assisting them in finding their place in their new school, community, and country.

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Additional Resources

Read Across America Featured Partner

Reading Without Walls is a national program celebrating reading and diversity. Launched as part of 2016-17 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature Gene Luen Yang's platform, Reading Without Walls is about exploring books with characters who look or live differently than you, topics you haven't tried. Take the challenge in April or make it part of your entire year of reading.


Edcommunities Groups

Collaborate with educators on this topic in the groups below.

Illinois Education Matters
Illinois Education Matters is a network for all practitioners in education - IEA members and non-members. This effort is designed to serve as a repository for professional development, tools, resources, and information on grants, conferences / workshops, etc. Imagine this as your one stop for all connections. If you have joined our group, please message me - letting me know that you joined. I do not get any information telling me you joined. Our membership is so large, it takes me forever to go through and see our new members. Thanks for your help. You can also join other active groups on edCommunities. Several IEA members are facilitators for edCommunities. Check out and join their groups, if interested. Mary Ann Rivera - Illinois ESPs Mary Jane Morris - Illinois Education Matters IEA Jillian Huber - Integrating Reading and Writing 9th-12th Jim Grimes - Higher Education Amy Kappele - Early Childhood Development & Education

Secondary Literacy
Do you want to inspire your students to think critically, to analyze works, and to use their imaginations on a daily basis? Do you want to explore ways you can integrate reading into writing curricula and writing into reading curricula in your high school classroom? Join us at the Integrating Reading and Writing 9th-12th group to share, explore, and discuss ways for teachers of all content areas to link these two important life skills together in order to help students get the most out of themselves every day.

School Integrated Pest Management
This group will provide information and resources for integrated pest management training and advice for all educators and school districts . Pest management is important, but often overlooked, part of school safety. Pests can cause stings and bites, and can trigger allergies. In addition, some pests pose health threats by spreading germs and filth. Un-managed pest problems can result in damage to school property, unsightly landscapes, and other unsafe conditions.

Our Read Across America Online Store is Open!

Visit to purchase stickers, bookmarks, pencils, mugs, hats & more. We have all you need to create a memorable RAA celebration.


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Download the Read Across America 2017 Recommended Books Poster here (PDF).

Click here to download the 2018-19 Read Across America Resource Calendar and Poster!



Reading Rockets offers a wealth of research-based resources designed to launch young readers. It's for parents, teachers, and other educators in helping struggling readers build fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension skills.

Coming in 2019...

National Teacher Day
May 7, 2019

National Teacher Appreciation Week
May 6-10, 2019

American Education Week
November 11-15, 2019

Coming in 2020...

NEA's Read Across America Day
Monday, March 2, 2020