A GAE HOW TO: Plan Your Perfect Event The following is a simple scenario for elementary or middle school teachers who want to conduct a NEA’s Read Across America event in their classroom. This is by far the most typical celebration and can be easily adapted to other situations. Make it a school-wide event. Talk with your principal first. Then reach out to other staff to see what they’re planning. Combine resources and energy to create an event students won’t forget. Look at your school’s calendar and choose a date to celebrate. The official day is March 2. If this conflicts with another event, feel free to pick a different day. Some schools celebrate the week before or after. Talk to your principal and check your school calendar as early as possible to avoid any last minute problems. Consult with your school librarian. It’s likely that he or she is already familiar with Read Across America and may have ideas to offer. Reserve books in advance— there may be a run on Dr. Seuss titles! Invite guest readers to come to your class or school and read to students. There is something powerful about a policeman, firefighter, mayor, radio personality, pastor, high school quarterback, or grandmother sharing their love for reading. Be sure and ask your guests to talk about why reading is important in their lives and about their favorite books when they were kids. Afterwards, have your students write thankyou www.gae.org | 9 notes. Make arrangements for a birthday cake, if resources allow. You might want to have it decorated with “Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss.” Get some hats! Everyone wants the famous Cat in the Hat hat. Try making your own from red and white construction paper. A 39 oz. coffee can has a good diameter for the crown, and you can trace a large dinner plate for the brim. This makes a fun class project. Send information home to parents, along with parent reading tips. Some parents may offer to help, and a few may volunteer to be guest readers. Bottom line: Make it fun! Planning a big event? Share your details and inspiration with us! Go to www.gae.org to take the RAA Pledge. Go to www.gae.org for links to all sorts of amazing RAA resources—from participation pledges to PR tools and a resource calendar. You’ll also find great resources to share with parents. Can’t get enough of great books? What’s your favorite book memory? Share it with GAE at firstname.lastname@example.org or on our GAE Facebook page www.facebook.com/ GeorgiaAssociationofEducators.
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