Reading is Fundamental to Student Achievement

Motivating children to read is an important factor in student achievement and creating lifelong successful readers. Research has shown that children who are motivated and spend more time reading do better in school.

March 2nd is Read Across America Day and is the birthday of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss. The National Education Association created Read Across America 13 years ago to encourage kids to read. It is a community celebration of reading as a form of entertainment and as a critical skill for lifelong learning. On March 2nd the goal is for every child to be reading with a caring adult.

Next week celebrate reading and student achievement by participating in Read Across America. Check with your neighborhood school or public library to see if they have a Read Across America program. Volunteer to be a guest reader.  Or just take a little time to talk with a child about the fun and importance of reading and then read a book together.

The following is a spot by CEA President Beverly Ingle about Read Across America:

We want to hear from you. What was your favorite book as a child? Why is reading important to you?  When was the last time you read to a child? Share your thoughts about reading.


33 Responses

  1. My favorite book was “The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins.” Every week when we went to the library, I would look for a Dr. Seuss book I hadn’t read. Then I read them all over again.

  2. My all-time favorite books are Charlotte’s Web and all of the Babysitter Club series. I couldn’t get enough of those books growing up. And I’m pretty sure my mom still has each and every single book that we bought when I was a kid!

  3. My favorite book was “James and the Giant Peach.” I had a pretty vivid imagination as a child (sometimes I still do) and this book was perfect for me.

  4. I loved the book “The Blue Sword” by Robin McKinley – I still have it and a few other beloved childhood books in my collection!

  5. The book my parents read to me over and over again before I could read was “Who Wants an Old Teddy Bear?”

    Once I learned to read, I plowed through tons of Matt Christopher books like “Johnny Long Legs” and “Shortstop from Tokyo.” I loved sports as a kid, and I felt like Matt Christopher was writing these books specifically for me. All my friends felt the same way, of course.

  6. I loved reading as a child and was read to by my parents early and often. My favorite books were a collection of childrens books that had poems, short stories and tales about faraway lands and people. I still remember the beautiful pictures and wonderful poems. Those books were handed down to the next generations but I still have the first one in the series!

  7. It’s hard to narrow it down to one. I loved, loved, loved the book “From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basin E. Frankweiler” about two kids living at a museum while they tried to solve a mystery, and I was a fan of “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh” as well. I won’t say what that’s about because it would spoil the surprise!

  8. I must have read “The Trumpet of the Swan” a million times. I absolutely adored that book and I’m sure if I read it today, it would still be just as good.

  9. When I was very young, my parents and I read “Quick as a Cricket” until we had to tape the pages back into the book.

    Once I started reading, I discovered “No Flying in the House” and loved it. The magic and whimsical nature captivated me – from a miniature flying dog to knowing if I could kiss my elbow I was a fairy – it was very special book! It required a bit of tape, too.

  10. My favorite book of all time is a children’s title that’s no longer published: “Nimby,” by Jasper Tomkins. It’s the story of a nimbus cloud who feels from a very young age that he doesn’t fit in, and that his special qualities aren’t recognized by those around him. Around the time when he’s least discouraged, he meets an island that compliments him in every way, and they become best friends. I love the moral of this story: that if we wait long enough, the right people and opportunities will make themselves known.

  11. I agree with Jennifer about “Mixed Up Files.” I grew up inear Boston, and I remember two books in particular. For illustrated books, I loved “Burt Dow, Deep Water Man” – the last book written by Robert McCloskey, who is famous for writing “Make Way for Ducklings.” However, Burt Dow is much, much cooler – check it out and I think you’ll agree there were some psychedelic influences there. For chapter books, I remember re-reading “Johnny Tremain” by Esther Forbes. it’s a great growing up story about the misadventures of a young silversmith apprentice during the early years of the American Revolution. Since I lived around all of those historic sites, the story was very vivid for me.

  12. My favorite book as a child was “Where The Wild Things Are” it just did a great job at opening the imagination and helped me learn to dream!

  13. My favorite childhood book is still How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

  14. Behind the Attic Wall by Sylvia Cassedy. Amazing characters, mystery, magic, imagination. engaging story…still one of my favorite books 20 years after reading it the first time.

  15. Little House in the Big Woods, by fellow ( now deceased) Iowan Laura Ingalls Wilder

  16. I can’t name a single favorite book. I have a voracious appetite for reading, primarly fiction. I started young – I think my parents read a lot to me, and when I could do it myself, I was ALWAYS at the library. Those librarians knew me by first name, and I always got top honors in all those summer reading programs.

    I read everything from Babysitters Club (Raquel!), Agatha Christie, Judy Bloom, Christopher Pike, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov – the list goes on.

    I still have these and my really young children’s books – they hold good memories for me. Reading is so important for so many reasons. For me, it sparked my imagination, helped me learn new words, and opened my mind to worlds and concepts which I never knew existed it. It still does all of these. Yay for books!

  17. Too hard to pick my favorite, but the first book that taught me the power of words was Charlotte’s Web. I cried my heart out when Charlotte died. That some words on a page written by someone I didn’t know, before I was born, even, could move me to tears was a revelation.

  18. I had two favorite series – The Wizard of Oz and Nancy Drew. Nancy Drew was such an adventurous person, not the quiet, subdued girl we were all supposed to be. And the Oz books created a new and different world. To this day, I still love both mystery and fantasy. Nothing fits a cold nasty day better than a great mystery thriller. Summers belong to fantasy – new worlds, new possibilities. All worlds first opened by books.

  19. I was in fifth or sixth grade when my Aunt read to me “Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates.” It remains one of my favorite books. Several years later I was surprised to learn author Mary Mapes Dodge, who wrote the book in the 1800s, never visited the Neatherlands until after the book was published! Another favorite book remains Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winner “To Kill a Mockingbird.” I first read this remarkable book while on a train returning home from college in 1960. To this day I keep copies of both books on a shelf above my desk at home. From them I learned great lessons which continue to guide me decades later.

  20. So when do you stop being a child??? Ah there were so many, used to love the “reading contests” the library would put on over the summer. Two books do come to mind, “The Great Brain” and all it’s sequels and the Lord of the Rings/Hobbit.

  21. When I was quite young, I loved the bright colors and holes in the pages (they fit my index finger perfectly) in The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. As I got older I loved A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle – great adventure!

  22. My earliest favorite book has to be “Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain. It was given to me by my Dad, who received it as a prize for attending 32 weeks of Sunday School in Byers, Co. in 1932. This version has photos from the first movie attempt. It is annotated by someone for my Dad’s dilligence. I fell in love with Twain’s stories and found out how cool it was to read.
    My second favorite is Frank L. Baum’s “The Wizard of Oz”. That book propelled me into the Denver Public Library system and its Summer reading program.
    I can recall many hot Summers reading fresh books from under a Cottonwood tree in Highland Park.
    I loved biographies, like “Friday The Arapaho Indian”, Booker T Washington”, “Jim Bridger”, and Mademe Currie”.
    I also loved natural historiy books about dinosaurs, Palentoplogy, Archaeology, and Native American History.
    50+ years later, I am still an avid reader.
    I read books to, and introduced them to my Kiddos.
    Reading remains an important part of my life.
    Jim Harrison, T.C. Boyle, Louise Erdrich, Western History and biography are always at my bed-side.
    Reading books is one of the most satisfying and enjoyable things I do.
    Tonight, I’ll read “To have and Have Not” by Hemingway. Just returned from Key West with a treasure from his old home, now a museum and book store..

  23. My family had a magical set of My Bookhouse books which were published in the 1920s. I curled up with my mother at bedtime and learned to read the “In the Nursery” volume, then went on to read the progressively more advanced volumes over and over. My favorite volume was titled “From the Tower Window,” which I valued for its wonderous stories and also its romantic and beautiful illustrations.

  24. Matilda by Roald Dahl was always one of my favorites!

  25. I think that reading is extremely important as a child and throughout life. It allows you to dream, imagine, & develop creativity. One of my earliest memories is “Green Eggs & Ham” by Dr. Seuss. Remember Sam I am? Also, Aesop’s Fables was one of my favorites; great lessons there. Much later in my childhood I remember reading a couple of my father’s books “The Hound of the Baskervilles” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and “The Hobbit” by Tolkien. In my teens I was really into Stephen King & Clive Barker. The last time I read to a child was in 2001. I was vacationing with my wife in Oxford, England staying with some friends and I read a bedtime story to their son. Although I do not read as much as I used to, I will always have fond memories of the early days when it all started.

  26. As many mention in their comments, reading is such an important part of growing up and learning. I always liked the books by author A.A. Milne, especially “Now We Are Six” and the Winnie-the-Pooh books. I’m sure it is the rhyming and rhytmns in the poems in “Now We Are Six” that interested me. And of course in the Pooh books, it is the lovable bear himself and all his friends that are so compelling.

    All the books those commenting mention remain relevant and important today. I see that in my two-year-old granddaughter Scarlett. She expects to be read “Green Eggs and Ham” every night before bed, and her two favorite characters are Elmo and Winnie-the-Pooh.

  27. My favorite book as a child was Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Ever since then, reading has been really important to me. I’m a really busy high school student, but I still find time to read all my favorite books. Like, Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Lovely Bones.

  28. I liked the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. I learned to read early because I would look at the newspaper every day before I was in kindergarten in 1960 and try to find the initials JFK as many times as possible. As a result, and because I was often bored as an only child, I used books as a way to exercise my big imagination. I also loved my school library at Slater School in Lakewood, and after seeing baseball movies on TV, would go into the library and try to find books about that player.

  29. I loved Berenstain Bears books. Reading helped me develop my imagination. I am a nanny and I last read to my 4 year old boy on Wednesday. He is enamored by my reading to him. We read all the time, he asks questions, and we discuss. He’s a boy! He loves when there are bad guys in the books so he can imagine being the hero.

  30. My favorite book was a bible story book that my grandmother gave to me. I am a constant book reader. I read everything — books, magazines, newspapers, etc. I can’t imagine life without books — it’s more important to me than anything.

  31. My favorite books were always about animals. I loved Corduroy the Bear, The Hungry Caterpillar and a book that appears to be out of print — Lion and Blue — a book about a majestic lion and a beautiful butterfly who form an unlikely friendship. Once I was a little older, I loved the crazy characters in the books written by Beverly Cleary.

  32. Growing up I devoured anything Dr. Suess. Even in a hospital bed recovering from tonsilectomy I remember being read the Sneetches.

    Reading to my own daughter long ago I found myself taking the following books to my own room afterwards so I could enjoy them again: anything by Alexandra Day (Good Dog Carl, the bear-elephant team of Frank and Ernest and Paddy’s Pay-Day),
    Nicholas Cricket in the Bug-A-Wug Cricket Band and the Max the Dog series.

  33. My favorite children’s story is called the House with The Clock in its Walls by John Bellairs. inspiring story with illustrations by ed gorey. I still pull it out & read it every few years. It really brings me back to my childhood.

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