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11 Ideas for a Great Reading Event

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Help your reading event be the highlight of the school year with these activity suggestions.

  1. Team up with Read Across America partners for your event. NEA's Read Across America has more than 50 national organization partners from the American Library Association to Youth Service America. Check out our partners list and find out if there's a local link for you. Don't forget to contact local businesses and organizations. They're great sources of book donations and volunteer readers.
  2. Have your mayor, school board, or legislators issue a proclamation. You can use our sample proclamation to create your own. 
  3. Hit the airways and read on the radio. Ask your local radio disc jockey to read or even broadcast from your school. They'll love the opportunity.
  4. Aim high. Who says high school students won't get involved? High School students love reader's theater and poetry slams, and middle school students can organize book fairs and read to elementary students, or create blogs to engage their peers.
  5. Play the pajama game. Invite parents and students to don their pajamas and snuggle up and read in an overnight readathon.
  6. Tip your hats to hometown heroes. Have students write to local heroes and ask them about their favorite books. Showcase these hometown heroes and their choices in your reading celebration.
  7. Put reading on parade or hold a book lovers' ball. Invite local authors and illustrators and showcase their  books and characters in style.
  8. Put on your culture cap. Create a culture cafe and put books on the menu. Your reading recipes can combine food and fiction or nonfiction and offer a taste of reading's great adventures.  
  9. Make your reading event a multilingual, multicultural affair. Looking for readers? Why not try storytellers from your ethnic minority communities. Their oral traditions are treasure troves for your students.
  10. Team up for reading. Contact your local sports team for guest readers and invite high school marching bands to welcome your students.
  11. Involve all NEA members. For example, bus drivers can set up a reading challenge; cafeteria workers can prepare recipes from your favorite books; and students and higher ed members can get their campus involved in your community. All of them can be guest readers.

Don't forget to join the RAA Facebook Page. You'll find lots of tips and ideas and be able to share your own.


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