By: Rickie Mascia and Adam Sockel

Across the nation, Librarians are leading, readers are reading, and Teachers are teaching. Many will begin their day with “Green Eggs & Ham”, others may say I do not like them, Sam I am. A few may ask “How do you do?”, all while they sit next to Thing One and Thing Two. Many will question how trees grow, while the answer is simple, “The Lorax” will know. Today is the best celebration of all, as we Read Across America with every reader, no matter how big or how small.

Today marks the 20th anniversary of Read Across America, NEA’s annual reading motivation and awareness program. Calling for every child, adult, teen, librarian, teacher, politician or activist, in every community to celebrate the greatest activity of all…reading.

The books of Theodor Seuss Geisel have long shown children the importance of equality and understanding. They teach that people matter, regardless of their size, shape, color or creed. Untold numbers of readers have important societal messages ingrained in us thanks to the magic of whimsical rhymes. His words stay with us long after we finish these classic books. Some of us even keep those words on us a bit more permanently…

Dr. Seuss is more than just an author. He is an institution. For millions of readers around the world, his words are the first we learn to read. It’s because of the good doctor that I’ll always remember where to find Christmas should it disappear, that all Sneetches are equal, stars or not and that sometimes a fox can really make a fashion statement. We encourage all our readers to get lost in a book, read to a loved one, or simply listen to a familiar voice tell an unknown story as we celebrate the mission of Dr. Seuss to nurture and explore literature.

In celebration and remembrance of one of the greats, here are ten reminders why reading is important no matter your age:

  1. Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. (The Lorax)
  2. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” (Oh, the Places You’ll Go!)
  3. “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” (I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!)
  4. “Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.”
  5. “You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And you are the one who’ll decide where to go.” (Oh, the Places You’ll Go!)
  6. “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory.”
  7. “So, open your mouth, lad! For every voice counts!” (Horton Hears a Who!)
  8. Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you! (Happy Birthday to You!)
  9. “It is better to know how to learn than to know.”
  10. “If things start happening, don’t worry, don’t stew, just go right along and you’ll start happening too.”

Now go on, I believe you have some mountains to move!

Check out the Seuss titles referenced in today’s post for Read Across America:

  1. Green Eggs and Ham
  2. The Lorax
  3. Horton Hears a Who!
  4. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  5. The Sneetches and Other Stories
  6. Fox in Socks
  7. Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
  8. Happy Birthday to You!

More books by Dr. Seuss