According to a 2019 survey by the US Department of Education, one in five adults do not have enough competent literary skills to easily complete basic everyday tasks.
While this leaves the majority of Americans with proficient literary skills, this means that around 20% of adults in the United States are considered functionally illiterate.
Language and communication skills play essential roles in many aspects of life, which is why teaching children how to read from an early age remains a crucial goal to educators everywhere.
March 2 was National Read Across America Day, a day where students are encouraged to partake in reading, whenever and wherever they are by elementary schools throughout the country.
Los Banos Unified School District (LBUSD) participates in celebrating this day annually, as elementary schools take the time to invite guest speakers into classrooms to read out loud to students.
This year Miano Elementary School was joined by LBUSD board members Dayna Valadao, Gene Lieb, Anthony Parreira, as well as district superintendent Dr. Mark Marshall, who spent the time visiting classrooms and reading out loud to the elementary school students.
Miano Elementary School Principal Zelda Dias-Harper also participated in National Read Across America Day with students by reading out loud Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham.
Dias-Harper’s goal in inviting these guest speakers to celebrate is to show students that reading is not something that just children do, but that adults read as well.
Board members spent about 30 minutes visiting classes to read each of them a book and to show the children that reading can be a fun activity for all ages. This celebration has occurred for as long as the nationally recognized day has existed and will continue to be recognized by Miano Elementary as a way to encourage their students to read.
Although National Read Across America Day coincides with Dr. Seuss’ birthday, this celebration is not strictly limited to works by Dr. Suess. Rather, this day is intended to recognize the privilege that reading is, as oftentimes people may take this skill for granted.
While this national day may be aimed at youth, people of all ages should be encouraged to pick up a book and read, celebrating March as National Reading Month.