Contact: Mike Myslinski at 650-552-5324
BURLINGAME - Teachers, celebrities and lawmakers like Lt. Gov. John Garamendi and State Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata joined leaders of the 340,000-member California Teachers Association in celebrating national “Read Across America” Day today in lively literacy events across the state.
The annual national event includes millions of parents, educators and community leaders across the country. The celebration is sponsored by the National Education Association with the California theme this year of “Go Books, Go – Get Jazzed About Books” and is always held on or near the March 2 birthday of author Dr. Seuss.
“Our goal on this special day is always to motivate children to read and to generate new enthusiasm for the joys of reading,” said CTA Vice President Dean E. Vogel, who read to children today at Hyde Park Elementary in Los Angeles. “Reading and literacy are the foundations of learning. Teachers and parents provide the spark that keeps children looking for more adventures in books.”
Vogel appeared with Jayneoni Moore, the glamour specialist who is co-chair of California’s Read Across America event. The other co-chair, actor Hector Elizondo, read to kids at Hazeltine Avenue Elementary in Los Angeles; CTA President David A. Sanchez was ill and could not appear with Elizondo as scheduled. CTA Secretary-Treasurer Dan Vaughn joined California Professional Firefighters President Lou Paulson in reading to kids at Leonardo Da Vinci Elementary in Sacramento.
In the Bay Area, Lt. Gov. Garamendi and Senate President Perata had their respective granddaughters on their laps as they read to kids in the library at Franklin Elementary in Alameda, where the two girls share the same kindergarten class and picked out the books for their grandfathers to read. “When you read a book you get to see all kinds of exciting things,” Garamendi said as he read a book about a bull in Spain who chooses to stop and smell the flowers rather than fight in a bullring. Perata read “The Bad Kitty,” about a cat that causes a ruckus at home when its owner forgets to feed it, and then explained how a library works to the kids. “You can go to a section that interests you and just pull a book right out.”
In San Diego, Jim Groth, a member of the CTA Board of Directors, joined Read Across America partner Rafael Lopez, a well-known book illustrator and creator of this year’s art, in a special art activity with third- fourth- and fifth-graders. Parents can find tips in several languages on how to make kids better readers on the CTA website Read Across America section.