Real World Reads / by Jasmine Tate

Unfolding stories, true or not, told by a wide range of authors brought me great joy as a child and continue to inspire me on my journey through adulthood.

Research has shown that by third grade, students transition from learning to read to reading to learn. Those who are not reading at level by grade three struggle to perform and fall behind other students leading to many short term and long term challenges.

Public education provided many benefits beyond the classroom and gave me extraordinary experiences, adventures and lifelong relationships. The National Education Association works to fulfill the promise of public education and prepare every student for success in a diverse and interdependent world. One of the many initiatives of the NEA is “Read Across America,” an annual celebration that has engaged individuals, young and young at heart, to experience and share the joys reading for more than 20 years.

"You're never too old, too wacky, too wild to pick up a book and read with a child." - Dr. Seuss

This week celebrations commenced across America with schools honoring the legacy of the late Theodor Geisel , more commonly known as Dr. Seuss. On Friday, March 2, Read Across America Day, stories will fill classrooms "celebrating a nation of diverse readers," this year’s RAA theme.

Although, I have had fun experiences reading to and with others, last year was my first time participating in RAA at two elementary schools in the Inland Empire. I thoroughly enjoyed engaging with the students, sharing the importance of reading and shamelessly plugging my alma maters, Southeastern Louisiana University and The University of Southern Mississippi.

Among the many lessons I learned from public educational institutions, Franklinton High School taught me to have PRIDE, Personal Responsibility In Developing Excellence; Southeastern showed me that I was more than a number and USM ignited me to soar To The Top!

In the spirit of education, join me and many others across the US for RAA. Pick up a book and read with a child in your home, neighborhood or a local school. Will you accept my reading challenge? Comment below, and please engage with me on social media using the #RealWorldReads.



Jasmine C. Tate