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Read Across America in July!

Swing into summer reading and learning with books that really get your blood moving!

For Younger Readers

FEEL THE BEAT: DANCE POEMS THAT ZING FROM SALSA TO SWING by Marilyn Singer; illustrated by Kristi Valiant (Dial, 2017)

From samba and salsa to tango and hip-hop, this collection of poems celebrates dance and the joy it brings around the world.

Read, Discuss and Explore:

Kids can get up and dance with Marilyn Singer Feel the Beat, but you can take nearly any book and make it move! Encourage children to act out parts of the story as you read or create an action for them to do to imitate a character or repeated event. Repetitive text titles such as Michael Rosen's We're Going on a Bear Hunt or Wiggle by Doreen Cronin have reasons to move built right in to the story. For other titles, save movement for after you finish the book and let kids interpret it with their own moves.

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For Middle Grade Readers

THE SWEETEST SOUND by Sherri Winston (Little, Brown, 2017)

Cadence is a shy but musical soul who would like to break free of her shyness -- and those who treat her like a fragile mouse -- to become a singing sensation and best-selling author.

Read, Discuss and Explore:

In The Sweetest Sound, Cadence often refers to how a song makes her feel or describes her feelings in musical terms. Get students thinking and talking about how music communicates ideas and feelings and have them share favorite songs and thoughts on how music makes them feel. Then have them identify songs from The Sweetest Sound that are important to Cadence. Listen to some of the songs together and seek out the lyrics. Now that they are more familiar with the music in Cadence's character.

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For Young Adult Readers


Catacombs, swarming rats, and creeping madness fill this graphic adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's best-known works and amplify and honor the timeless legacy of a master of the gothic horror.

Read, Discuss and Explore:

In Poe: Stories and Poems, Gareth Hinds provides of Poehorror motifs such as creepy animals, disease, murder, and insanity. Get students talking about horror. What do they like or dislike about the horror genre? Why would anyone want to be purposely scared? What emotions does the horror genre encourage readers to explore? Have students write a journal entry about how Poe's stories helped them explore their own fears or emotions.

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Additional Resources

Read Across America Featured Partner

NEA is partnering with United Through Reading to connect military families to the read-aloud experience. Deployments and separation continue to be a reality for military families. Children have an estimated 180 nights without their parent at home for bedtime stories. That We believe that every military child deserves a bedtime story. Find out how you can help!

Edcommunities Groups

Collaborate with educators on this topic in the groups below.

Supporting Pre-Service Teachers
Welcome to Supporting Pre-Service Teachers! This group is for educators who work with and support pre-service teachers. Pre-Service and Early Career teachers will also benefit from joining this group. Mentors and cooperating teachers are strongly encouraged to join! Notes of encouragement, sharing of resources, good articles, and venting is welcome too. This group is solutions driven - the goal is to find realistic solutions to support our pre-service and cooperating teachers and address any concerns and questions that come up.

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.

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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!

NEA's Read Across America: Building a Nation of Readers

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