It’s a great day to pick up a book! U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday issued a presidential proclamation declaring March 2 as Read Across America Day.
Obama, who was a former law professor, stressed the need to enhance literacy across the United States.
“From infancy through adulthood, reading enriches the human experience and illuminates the path to learning, opportunity, and success. By sharing the beauty and power of books with our children, we make a vital investment not only in their future, but also in an America that leads the world in educating its people,” Obama said in the proclamation.
“As we celebrate Read Across America Day in our homes, schools, and libraries, let us recommit to empowering every child with a strong start and a passion for the written word,” Obama said.
The commemorative day also comes on the same day as the birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel—Dr. Seuss—the famed children’s author. Dr. Seuss, Obama said, was “an author whose fanciful wordplay and whimsical tales continue to delight young readers around the world. Dr. Seuss's stories evoke the unlimited potential for imagination and inspiration on the printed page, and they remind us of the countless ways reading enhances our lives.”
“The journey to literacy begins early and continues throughout childhood. Parents and caregivers can play an essential role in developing fundamental skills by reading aloud regularly, helping children explore new words and concepts, and instilling enthusiasm for language and storytelling. These first lessons help pave the way for a love of reading that can last a lifetime,” Obama said.
The president also called on parents, families, educators, and public officials to observe the day as well as work to “reinforce reading proficiency and build critical thinking skills that provide the foundation for a world-class education.”