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Read Across America in August

Celebrate a sweet end to summer with a trip to the beach with Rashin's Saffron Ice Cream.

August is time to celebrate American Artist Appreciation Month, Labor Day, International Day of the World, and International Youth Day.

Saffron Ice Creamby Rashin Kheiriyeh
Copyright @ 2018 by Rashin Kheiriyeh. Images reproduced with permission of the publisher, Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.

As she and her family head to Coney Island for the first time, Rashin remembers when she and her family lived in Iran and the fun and ice cream she shared with her best friend Azadeh during trips to the beach.

As Rashin discovers, making new friends adds flavor to life! Discuss how making friends can be difficult in a new school, new neighborhood, and new country. Have students brainstorm and practice ways to meet and start conversations with people new to their community. As they practice and feel empowered to meet new people, have your class form a welcome team to greet students and families that are new to your community. Students can volunteer to give tours of the school and the neighborhood and introduce new people to different clubs, sports teams, and neighborhood activities. Everyone in the class can contribute to making map of the neighborhood featuring places friends meet - from the park to the ice cream parlor - to hand out to new families.

More texts and multimedia to engage students, inspire further content exploration, and differentiate instruction:

The Seeds of Friendship by Michael Foreman

My Two Blankets by Irena Kobald

Here I Am by Patti Kim

I'm New Here by Anne Sibley O'Brien

King of the Sky by Nicola Davies

The Sandwich Swap by Queen Rania of Jordan Al Abdullah with Kelly DiPucchio

Margaret and Margarita/Margarita y Margaret by Lynn Reiser

Sakura's Cherry Blossoms by Robert Paul Weston

National Geographic Kids: Explore Countries of the World

Journeys to America: Sharing Stories of Survival and Hope (Rashin Kheiriyeh at minute 26:40)

Friendship on Small Talk from CBC Kids

Questions for discussion or reflective writing:

  • How do you feel when you are about to try something for the first time?
  • How would moving to a new place make you feel? What would you miss?
  • What are some ways to make someone new to your community feel welcome?
  • Why are friendships important?
  • What do you like about your friends that makes it fun to be together?
  • What are some ways to make friends?

Educator resources:

Teaching Strategy from Teaching Tolerance: Making Connections During Read Aloud

Learning to Give: Friends lesson plan

America, A Home for Every Culture from ArtsEdge



Edcommunities Groups

Collaborate with educators on this topic in the groups below.

Illinois Education Matters
Illinois Education Matters is a network for all practitioners in education - IEA members and non-members. This effort is designed to serve as a repository for professional development, tools, resources, and information on grants, conferences / workshops, etc. Imagine this as your one stop for all connections. If you have joined our group, please message me - letting me know that you joined. I do not get any information telling me you joined. Our membership is so large, it takes me forever to go through and see our new members. Thanks for your help. You can also join other active groups on edCommunities. Several IEA members are facilitators for edCommunities. Check out and join their groups, if interested. Mary Ann Rivera - Illinois ESPs Mary Jane Morris - Illinois Education Matters IEA Jillian Huber - Integrating Reading and Writing 9th-12th Jim Grimes - Higher Education Amy Kappele - Early Childhood Development & Education

Secondary Literacy
Do you want to inspire your students to think critically, to analyze works, and to use their imaginations on a daily basis? Do you want to explore ways you can integrate reading into writing curricula and writing into reading curricula in your high school classroom? Join us at the Integrating Reading and Writing 9th-12th group to share, explore, and discuss ways for teachers of all content areas to link these two important life skills together in order to help students get the most out of themselves every day.

School Integrated Pest Management
This group will provide information and resources for integrated pest management training and advice for all educators and school districts . Pest management is important, but often overlooked, part of school safety. Pests can cause stings and bites, and can trigger allergies. In addition, some pests pose health threats by spreading germs and filth. Un-managed pest problems can result in damage to school property, unsightly landscapes, and other unsafe conditions.

Our Read Across America Online Store is Open!

Visit to purchase stickers, bookmarks, pencils, mugs, hats & more. We have all you need to create a memorable RAA celebration.


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Download the Read Across America 2017 Recommended Books Poster here (PDF).

Click here to download the 2018-19 Read Across America Resource Calendar and Poster!

NEA's Read Across America: Building a Nation of Readers

Reading Rockets offers a wealth of research-based resources designed to launch young readers. It's for parents, teachers, and other educators in helping struggling readers build fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension skills.

Coming in 2019...

National Teacher Day
May 7, 2019

National Teacher Appreciation Week
May 6-10, 2019

American Education Week
November 11-15, 2019

Coming in 2020...

NEA's Read Across America Day
Monday, March 2, 2020